Jeri J. Barr Assessor
WE'RE HERE TO HELP
The Grant Township Assessor is responsible for a fair and uniform system of property valuation that will equitably distribute the revenue requirements of our local governments among the township property owners
ANOTHER TAX INCREASE?
WE DO NOT DETERMINE OR CONTROL THE AMOUNT OF PROPERTY TAXES YOU MUST PAY.
Tax bills for 2013 will be mailed from the county during the last week of April. The first installment is due by Thursday, June 5, 2014 and the second is due Friday, September 5, 2014.
Taxes are the result of spending, not assessments, and if spending doesn't go down, taxes won't go down either.
Property taxes exist because of local government spending. Taxing bodies schools, villages, townships, county, police & fire districts, libraries, park districts, ect. depend on property tax revenues to provided local services. Each year they submit a request for property tax funds, known as the "levy". The combined "levies" actually create the tax burden, while assessments simply divide up that tax burden in an equitable way. So if government spending and the "levy" requests do not decrease, most of us will see no relief in our tax bills. In fact, if levies go up because of increased spending, tax bills can actually go up, even when assessments go down.
To understand why, we have to look at the basic tax rate formula:
LEVY divided by ASSESSED VALUE = TAX RATE
The LEVY is the amount of tax dollars that your taxing bodies request.
The ASSESSED VALUE is the total of the assessments in the taxing district.
The TAX RATE is nothing more than the calculation; the result of dividing the LEVY by the ASSESSED VALUE
Taxes go up because Levies go up. Assessed values and tax rates are just the tools used to divide up the total tax burden created by the combined levies of our local taxing bodies.
Here's how it works - Our taxing body requests &100,000 (the Levy), and total assessments are 2,000,000.
The tax rate now is .0500 ($100,000 divided by 2,000,000)
If your assessment is 100,000 then your taxes will be 10,000 X .05 or $500.
"If property values go down, won't my taxes go down?" Let's see...
Our Taxing body is still requesting $100,000 (the Levy) but total assessments are 1,800,000, down 10%.
The tax rate now becomes .0556 ($100,000 divided by 1,800,000)
If your assessment is 9,000 (down 10%), then your taxes will be 9,000 X .0556, still $500.
Taxes didn't change - even though assessments went down - because the LEVY didn't change. The Levy drives the tax bill.
What if the levy increases but my assessment goes down?
The LEVY is $110,000, 10% more, and assessments are 1,800,000, down 10%.
The tax rate is .0611 ($110,000 divided by 1,800,000)
If your assessment is 9,000 (down 10%), then your tax bill will be 9,000 X .0611 = $550
Up 10% like the levy, not down 10% like your assessment. The Levy drives the tax bill.
Generally, taxes do not go up because of increasing assessments and they will not go down with declining assessments. On an individual basis, if one assessment goes down substantially more than others, that one property owner may see more relief in their taxes, the tax burden has been redistributed. And if one assessment doesn't change when most go down, that tax bill may increase - the tax burden has been redistributed. But, if assessments all decrease by a similar amount, there will be absolutely no change in your tax bill unless the levy changes.
Levies go up because local government spending goes up and taxes go up because Levies go up - even when assessments go down. Assessments and tax rates do not change the tax burden, they only distribute the tax burden that is created by the levies.
The only way to control taxes is to control local government spending.
The links below show the taxing bodies and tax rates which affect your tax bill.
Sample of tax bills for a property valued at $200,000
DISTRESS SALES DOWN IN 2013
While there are still a large number of “distress sales” throughout the township, the percentage has improved over the previous two years. (distress sales include foreclosures, short sales, bank sales, etc.)
Village of Fox Lake – Single family property = 50% distress sales
Condos/Attached = 68% distress sales
Unincorporated Ingleside – Single family = 51% distress sales
Condos = 100% qualified
Round Lake area – Single family property = 50% distress sales
Condos/Attached = 56% distress sales
Village of Volo – Single family property = 70% distress sales
Condos/Attached = 73% distress sales
Village of Lakemoor – Single family = 61% distress sales
Condos/Attached = 100% distress sales (18 properties)
Unincorporated Spring Grove – Single family = 67% distress sales
Unincorporated McHenry - Single family = 60% qualified sales
Single family homes in Volo and condos in Lakemoor continue to have the highest percentage of distress sales while Fox Lake single family percentage is the most improved compared to 2011-2012 sales.
*Data is based on multiple listing service sales information.
Assessment Appeal Process
Property owners have an annual opportunity to appeal their assessments to the Lake County Board of Review. Property owners who question their assessments are encouraged to contact our office with evidence to support their contention prior to filling an appeal with the county to see if it can be resolved without a hearing.
AN ASSESSMENT APPEAL DOES NOT ADDRESS THE AMOUNT OF THE PROPERTY TAX BILL. It is an attempt to prove the assessed value overstates the property's value, or is higher than the estimated value of similar properties.
If a property owner believes their property is over assessed, the county has a website www.lakecountyil.gov where you can click on assessment information and prepare a grid from county data to support your claim. When choosing comparables, you should use only similar properties in your neighborhood. A ranch is not a good comparable to a 2 story home - the characteristics, baths, basement, square footage of living area should all be similar to your property. Bring the grid to the township or you may come in and we will help you prepare one.
One of the better forms of evidence is a recent appraisal or sale of the property and we will be happy to review a copy of yours to help determine assessed value.
We are required by law to use the previous 3 years sales (which for the 2014 assessment will be 2011, 2012 & 2013) to determine assessed value. The assessed value may seem high compared to today's prices but we must follow the Illinois Property Tax Code and include the older sales.
You do not have to retain the services of a tax rep to protest your value. You can do this free of charge by following these guide lines:
During the appeal process you may:
1) Drop off your evidence for review at our office 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday thru Friday.
2) E-mail your evidence to our office. email@example.com
3) Set-up an appointment to meet with the assessor or staff member for information or assistance with the appeal process. We will make every effort to accommodate all property owners who may not be able to come to our office during normal office hours.
4) File your appeal with the county.
Online Appeal Filing
From the Assessor...
Please call or visit our office for assistance with filing for EXEMPTIONS:
Senior Assessment Freeze
The assessor's office provides information for and represents the township during assessment appeals at the county and state level.
We also provide literature regarding the assessment and tax bill process.
We welcome all Grant Township property owners to visit the office with questions and we will be happy to share information regarding the process of determining your assessment.
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