Property taxes are levied, collected, and spent locally to finance a major part of the services that units of local government provide to their residents. The appeal process begins at the local (county) level.
When going through the appeal process, the property owner appeals the assessed value of the property, not the tax bill. The amount of the tax bill is determined by the various tax rates that are applied to the assessment based on the levies of various local government taxing districts which include townships, municipalities, school districts, etc. If the assessment increases, the change must be published in a local newspaper. Individual notices will also be mailed in some instances.
Note: The tax rates are not an issue in the assessment appeal process, only the amount of the assessment. Once you receive the tax bill, it is too late to make an appeal for that year's assessment.
Reasons for an Appeal
You may have a legitimate complaint if you can support any of the following claims:
- The assessor's market value is higher than the actual market value. This claim may be supported if you have recently purchased your property on the open market or if you supply a professional appraisal.
- The assessed value is at a higher percentage of market value for your property than the prevailing township or county median level as shown in an assessment/sales ratio study.
- The primary assessment of the property is based on inaccurate information, such as an incorrect measurement of a lot or building.
- The assessmetn is higher than those of similar neighboring properties.
You may contact your township or multi-township assessor or the Chief County Assessment Officer (CCAO) if you have a complaint. Questioning your assessment to the assessor early in the year may result in an adjustment without using the formal appeal process. If the assessor still has the assessment books for that year, s/he can change the assessed value.
A formal appeal may be made in writing to your county Board of Review. Contact the Board of Review for a complaint form and specific information including deadlines, evidence requirements, rules of practice, etc.
Note: A written appeal to the county Board of Review is a prerequisite to any further appeal to the State Property Tax Appeal Board of the Circuit Court.
Steps in Appealing an Assessment
- Obtain the property record card which includes the assessed valuation of the property
- Discuss the assessmetn with the assessor or CCAO to determine how the assessment was calculated
- Determine your opinion of the fair market value of the property
- Determine the prevailing assessment level in the district
- Determine the basis for a formal complaint
- File a written complaint on Form PTAX-230 (Non-farm Property Assessment Complaint) or Form PTAX-227 (Farm Property Complaint) with the Board of Review by the deadline date
To support a claim of unfair assessment, you will need substantial evidence, some of which may be obtained from the township or county assessing official's office, from a professional appraiser, or through research. Pertinent evidence for non-farm property should include some or all of the following:
- A copy of the property record card for and photograph of the property under appeal
- Copies of the property record cards for and photographs of similar properties in the neighborhood
- A copy of the Real Estate Transfer Declaration or a contract for purchase
- An appraisal of the property
- A list of recent sales of comparable properties (including photographs, property record cards, and evidence of the sale prices)
Farm Land and Farm Buildings
For information regarding the steps in appealing a farm land or farm building assessment, contact your CCAO to request a PTAX-227 (Farm Property Assessment Complaint).
Appeal to State Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB)
If you do not agree with the county Board of Review's decision, you may appeal the decision, in writing, to the State Property Tax Appeal Board. Until the case is decided, you must pay the taxes pending the outcome of the appeal.
For more information regarding a state appeal, you may contact them in writing at:
State Property Tax Appeal Board
William G. Stratton Office Building
401 S. Spring -- Room 402
Springfield, IL 62706
or contact them by phone at: