When going through the appeal process, you, the property owner, are appealing the assessed value of your property, not the amount of tax you pay. The amount of the tax bill is determined by the various tax rates applied to the assessment based on the levies of various local government taxing districts which include counties, townships, municipalities, school districts, special service areas, etc. If the assessment changes, the change will be published in a local newspaper along with all other assessment changes, typically in the later part of the year. individual assessment change notices will also be mailed to the affected property owners. You have the right to appeal your assessment, if there has been a change in your value or if you just feel your current assessment is not fair representation of value. Current Assessed Value X 3 = Current Fair Market Value. Begin by asking yourself, ‘Would I sell this property for at least the Current Fair Market Value the
assessor is showing?” If so, then your current assessment is likely what it should be and the issue is with the tax amount which is beyond the control of the assessor.
NOTE: Tax rates and tax amounts are not an issue for appealing your property assessment. These are decided by the taxing bodies.
Reasons for an Appeal
You may have a legitimate complaint if you can support any of the following claims:
Market Value Complaints
The assessor’s market value is higher than actual market value. Market value is defined as the most probable sale price of a property in terms of money in a competitive and open market, assuming that the buyer and seller are acting prudently and knowledgeably, allowing sufficient time for the sale, and assuming that the transaction is not affected by undue pressures. This definition assumes that the sale is an arms-length transaction, has had a reasonable amount of time and exposure in the open market, and the buyer and seller are knowledgeable and not related. Evidence of market value may include:
- A recent professional appraisal (1 year or less)
- Recent sale of the subject property evidenced by a copy of the sales contract and closing statement. The sale price alone is not necessarily proof of market value and also requires additional evidence such as recent comparable sales, comparable assessed values of similar homes in the surrounding area, etc.
- If new construction: evidence of the cost of construction including the cost of land value of any labor provided the owner or donated to the owner.
- Three recent sales of comparable properties in or near the subject neighborhood, if possible.
When the taxpayer cites unequal treatment or lack of uniformity in his/her appeal, he/she must prove by clear and convincing evidence that a disparity of assessment exits. The evidence must demonstrate that a consistent pattern of assessment inequities exists. Isolated examples of assessment inequities are not sufficient to substantiate an assessment reduction. (Kankakee County Board of Review vs. Property Tax Appeal Board, 131 IL 2d1 (1989))
The primary assessment of the property is based on inaccurate information, such as an incorrect measurement of a lot or building.