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Tax Assessments FAQ's

What is a multiplier?
Non-farm property is, by law, supposed to be assessed at one-third of its market value.  However, due to differences in assessing methods and changes in the real estate market from year to year, assessed values for a jurisdiction do not always meet this statutory requirement.  When overall assessments in a jurisdiction are determined to be above or below the statutory level (based on annual sales-ratio studies of actual sale prices compared to assessed values of properties), a multiplier (factor) is applied to all non-farm assessments in that jurisdiction.  The result is that assessments overall in that jurisdiction are now at the statutory level and the taxing districts that generate property tax revenue from those assessments now have the proper base on which to levy.

How do I appeal the multiplier applied to my property?
Whenever multipliers are applied to individual assessments within a local jurisdiction (such as a township), an assessment notice is mailed to the property owner.  If the property owner feels that the multiplier has caused the property to be overvalued, then an appeal may be filed (within 30 days) to the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB) to contest the increase in assessed value caused by the multiplier.  Please note that evidence of overvaluation must be submitted with the appeal form.  The appeal form is available here.

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Will I be notified if my assessment is going to be increased?
If the Township Assessor changes your assessment, you will be notified by U.S. Mail sent to the same address where your tax bill is sent; the change will also be published in a local newspaper. If your assessment is changed by the application of a multiplier, the multiplier will be published in a local newspaper.

Why are my taxes increasing?
Individual taxes may increase for a number of reasons. The most common reasons are: 1) the tax rate for some (or all) of the individual taxing agencies has increased; 2) the assessed value of your property increased; or 3) an exemption which was applicable in a prior year is no longer applicable.

What is the difference between the assessed value, market value, and equalized value of a property?
The market value, or fair market value, is the estimated full value of the parcel should that parcel sell in a normal, arms-length transaction. The assessed value is one-third of the market value, as estimated by the assessor. The equalized assessed value is the assessed value, as determined by the assessor, that has been adjusted with a multiplier (discussed above).  The equalized assessed value forms the basis for property tax bills and is the value from which all applicable homeowner exemptions are deducted.

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I received my property tax bill and don't understand what it means?
Here is an illustrated example of a Sample Property Tax Bill with explanations.

How do I get a duplicate tax bill?
Contact the Treasurer's Office, at (217) 753-6800.

My mortgage company pays my tax bills. Why did I get a bill?
Many mortgage companies pay electronically, and do not require a bill. We suggest that you contact your mortgage company to confirm. A bill is mailed to you for your records. Many park districts and libraries require you to show your tax bill for proof of residency.

How do I appeal the assessed value of my property?
Please note here that you are appealing the assessed value of your property and not your property taxes.  If you feel your property is valued incorrectly, you should start by contacting your township assessor.   Review the property information with your assessor to be sure all information is correct.   If you have had a recent purchase or have had an appraisal done for your property, you may also provide this to your assessor for review.   If you cannot resolve your differences with the assessor, you may then file an assessment complaint with your local county's Board of Review. The appeal documents are available in the Supervisor of Assessment’s Office and the filing period is typically held between July 1 and September 10 of each year.   Check with your Supervisor of Assessments Office to verify your filing period.  As with the multiplier appeal previously discussed, evidence must be filed with your complaint to support your position.  A set of detailed rules for filing an assessment complaint is available in the Supervisor of Assessments Office.

If you are not satisfied with the decision of the Board of Review, you may, within 30 days of the notification mailed to you by the Board of Review, file an appeal to the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB).  As a final step, should you be dissatisfied with the decision of PTAB, you may file an appeal in circuit court.

How are tax rates calculated?
All taxing agencies (school districts, townships, fire protection districts, etc) file an annual levy with the County Clerk that details the property tax revenue that is needed to meet budget requirements.  The County Clerk uses these levy amounts with the overall taxable value of each agency to calculate a rate that will be applied to each property within each agency.  There are many and various statutory guidelines that govern this process, including limits and restrictions on the rates and the amount of revenue each agency may receive.

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How can I compare my assessment with other properties?
All assessment information is a matter of public record and you may access this information by contacting your township assessor or by researching much of this information through the Sangamon County website.  If you are unable to locate the information you are seeking, please contact your township assessor for assistance.

Who do I contact for:

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When is my property reassessed?
All non-farm properties are reassessed once every four years.   Individual parcels may be reassessed more frequently if there are new properties added from new subdivisions, etc., physical changes in a property, or corrections that need to be made.

Why did my property value increase when all I hear on the news is that property values are dropping?
While it is true that nationwide many areas are experiencing severe drops in property values, Sangamon County values have remained stable. This is partially due to over-inflated property values in some parts of the country – even within Illinois – that was not experienced here in Sangamon County. Additionally, when determining the equalization factor, the Board of Review and the Illinois Department of Revenue are using assessment values from three previous years, not the current year. For example, the 2008 (payable 2009) equalization factor averaged 2005, 2006, and 2007 assessment-to-sales data.

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For which year am I paying property taxes?
Taxes paid in one year were accrued from the prior year. For example, taxes paid in 2009 were accrued in calendar year 2008 based on the value of the property in 2008.

How can I change my mailing address on my tax bill?
You may contact the Supervisor of Assessment's Office or click here for instructions to print the address change request form.

How can I get a Senior Citizen's Freeze on my assessment?
You may contact the Supervisor of Assessments's Office to apply for a freeze on your assessment.

How can I apply for a Homestead Exemption?
You may contact the Supervisor of Assessment's Office to apply for the exemption or click here for the application.

How can I get the square footage and/or the year my house was built?
If you are in Capital Township (City of Springfield), you may contact the Capital Township Assessor's Office or click here for a listing of other township assessors.

I did not live in my home for all of the tax year, so why am I paying the property taxes?
Please refer to your closing papers. Typically, at a closing, you will be given a proportionate allowance for the months you did not have ownership of the property and this allowance is to be used by the new owner when the property tax bill comes due.

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I am unable to find an address on the Property Tax Search option. What am I doing wrong?
Here are a few tips on searching by address:

  1. A numbered street must be entered with 2 digits. For example 1st Street will be found by entering 01st Street.
  2. Most streets, avenues, roads, boulevards, etc. are spelled out, not abbreviated.
  3. If you had entered with a direction and were unable to find the parcel, try again without the direction.
  4. Some streets are entered as the street name only, ie Monroe Street is just entered as Monroe.

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