Don’t Fall for These Common Misconceptions about Your Property Tax Bill
Homeowners sometimes mistakenly give up on the property tax appeal process because they successfully reduce their assessed value once, but then have the Assessor raise their assessment the following year. They then conclude that the time and money they spent on their appeal was a waste.
Any reduction in assessed value achieved in an appeal will result in tax savings for at least one year.
Orland Township Example
We heard this from a homeowner in Orland Township who appealed his 2013 assessment, saw a savings for that year’s bill but saw his tax bill go up 17% the following year. His home was reassessed in 2014 as part of the triennial assessment. That pushed his assessed value up 10%, while his tax rate went up 3.8%. That stung, and he hasn’t appealed since.
But here’s what he’s missing: lowering his home’s assessed value may have helped to mitigate the effect of the triennial reassessment and his tax bill because he started at a lower assessed value. A reduced assessment can pay you back year after year. No matter what his tax bill said – it was less than it would have been. By not appealing again in 2014, he magnified the effect of the triennial reassessment – and every tax hike that came after.
When You Stop Appealing, the Hikes Hit Harder
Sometimes homeowners give up on the appeals process when they manage to reduce their assessed value one year, only to see their tax bill adjusted upward as a result of an increasing equalization factor.
During the triennial reassessment, the Illinois Department of Revenue can adjust assessed values by a factor based on home sales. When average sales prices are higher or lower than 33% of assessed values, an equalization factor is applied as a means of ensuring that values reflect sales ratios. But it’s important to remember that even if an equalization factor adjusts assessments up – if your starting point is lower, it’s an adjustment that affects you less.
It’s always nicer to see a tax bill go down, but sometimes savings comes in the form of minimizing the increases that are coming your way – and more are coming your way…
Don’t Pay More Than Your Fair Share
At Kensington Research and Recovery, we offer a free, no-obligation review of your property taxes. We use a data-driven process and a proprietary algorithm that goes deep into the comparable details you need to bring a successful appeal. If we don’t see an opportunity for significant savings, we won’t waste your time or ours. When we do assist with an appeal, our clients win 90% of the time. That’s a savings for you that pays off year after year.
Take advantage of our expertise and don’t get stuck paying more than your fair share.