Property Taxes

the purpose of property taxes;

WHAT AM I PAYING FOR?

property taxes have historically been the main revenue source for local Illinois government budgets. These taxes usually are shared between school districts, park districts, counties, cities/villages townships and other special districts.

How often do we get taxed?

Taxes are assessed annually and are paid in two installments.

Taxes are assessed a year late. In other words, tax bills issued and payable this year are really last year's taxes.

In Cook County, the first installment is due March 1. It is always exactly one-half of the prior years taxes. The second installment is supposed to be paid by September 1. (very often, the tax bills are prepared and mailed late so the deadline is usually (but not always) delayed while the assessors figure out what the tax levy should be.

In the "collar" counties, taxes are paid in equal installments and are due on June 1 and September 1 annually.

How the taxes are set

taxes are determined by

  • multiplying a properties "assessed value" by the "state equalization factor (the multiplier)"
  • deducting any exemptions
  • then multiplying that number by the tax rate for your local township/community.

assessed values are determined by the county assessors office. Outside of Cook County, the assessed value is 1/3 of the market value. Cook County uses a system of property classifications that are set at different percentages.

When are properties re-assessed?

Collar counties re-assess property values every year. In Cook County, the values are re-assessed every three years according to the following schedule

How do I get some relief?

There is a procedure in every county to challenge the assessed value based on comparable property or on mistakes in the assessors determinations.

Check Out the: COOK COUNTY ONLINE PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION RENEWAL CENTER

There are two principal forms of tax credits: homeowners are entitled to a $4,500 tax exemption provided that the residences are owner-occupied as of January 1 and the owner makes the appropriate claims. Senior citizens may also qualify for an additional homestead exemption ($2,500 in Cook County, $2,000 in the collar counties). Taxpayers must apply for these exemptions every year.

Each of these exemptions lowers the ASSESSED EQUALIZED VALUATION. Senior Citizens with total household income of $40,000 or less may also qualify for SENIOR CITIZEN ASSESSMENT FREEZE EXEMPTION.

Other available exemptions include

  • the Home Improvement Exemption, that delays taxation for home expansions or renovations of up to $45,000 for at least four years
  • the circuit breaker tax program rebates a portion of the property tax paid for qualifying taxpayers with annual income of less than $16,000. For more information, contact the Illinois Department of Revenue.
  • Homes in designated landmark status or "official" historical district can be rehabbed or renovated (within historic limitations) and defer increases in assessed valuatiuons for 8 years (provided the cost of rehab work is at least 25% of current property market value). For more information: contact the Illinois Historiuc Preservation Agency - 217.782.8168.
  • Historic Chicago Bungalow Initiative - qualifying homeowners can receive a gift of up to 4% of their mortgage loan amount AND a federal tax credit based on interest paid on loans used to rehab these unique homes.

In addition, homeowners are entitled to an INCOME TAX DEDUCTION for property taxes paid on their primary residence.

MORE INFO: HOW TO APPEAL YOUR TAXES !!!


SENIOR CITIZEN TAX FREEZE. Taxes are based, in part, on the assessed value of the property. When property values soar, seniors and others on fixed income are at risk. The tax freeze locks in the assessed property valuation for qualifying seniors. There is an annual application form and a $40,000 household income limit. For further details, check with the county assessor.

SENIOR CITIZENS TAX DEFERRAL PROGRAM. Seniors with annual household income less than $40,000.00, can apply for property tax deferrals by securing tax payments with a lien against the home payable upon sale or death. essentially, the county makes a low interest (6%) "reverse mortgage" loan against the property. In order to be eligible, a homeowner must (1) turn 65 by June 1 of the year application is made (2) must own and live in the property (3) must have lived in Illinois for the three years (4) must be current on property taxes and (4) must maintain insurance on the property. The filing deadline is March 1, annually. The cumulative deferral is capped at 80% of the owners' equity in the property.

SENIOR CITIZEN HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION There are two principal forms of tax credits: homeowners are entitled to a $4,500 tax exemption provided that the residences are owner-occupied as of January 1 and the owner makes the appropriate claims. Senior citizens may also qualify for an additional homestead exemption ($2,500 in Cook County, $2,000 in the collar counties). Taxpayers must apply for these exemptions every year.

COOK COUNTY ASSESSOR'S SENIOR EXEMPTIONS WEB SITE

COOK COUNTY TRIENNIAL REASSESSMENT SCHEDULE
YEAR: 2003 & 2006 2004 & 2007 2002 & 2005
TOWNSHIP: CHICAGO NORTH SUBURBS SOUTH & WEST SUBURBS

Hyde Park Barrington Berwyn

Jefferson Elk Grove Bloom

Lake Evanston Bremen

Lakeview Hanover Calumet

North Leyden Cicero

Rogers Park Maine Lemont

South New Trier Lyons

West North Oak Park


Northfield Orland


Norwood Park Palos


Palatine Proviso


Schaumburg Rich


Wheeling River Forest



Riverside



Stickney



Thorton



Worth