Understanding the Factors That Determine the Size of Your Property Tax Bill
When you open your property tax bill, it’s easy to see if you’re going to be paying more, but the reasons why can be harder to understand.
Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough offers a brief explanation in a recent release accompanying the 2019 tax rates. The release includes the “four most impactful factors” that determine whether an individual property tax bill goes up or down. The bad news is, they’re going up in a lot of cases. But every tax bill is a collection of individual components.
Here are the four factors that determine the size of your tax bill, followed by some explanation around what you can (and can’t) do about them:
1. The amount of property tax requested by the various taxing districts that serve your neighborhood, including local school, water, fire, library, forest preserve and other districts.
2. The change in the value of a property. This is your property’s assessment.
3. The change in the state-issued equalization factor compared to the prior year. It’s going up from 2.9109 in 2018 to 2.9160 for 2019.
4. Property tax exemptions for eligible homeowners, senior citizens, disabled persons and others. These can reduce the amount of your equalized assessment, resulting in a reduction to your tax bill.
What You Can Do
Factor #1: As a citizen, if you don’t like the size of the tax levy imposed by one of the taxing districts on your bill, your “appeal” process consists of voting to choose or replace the elected officials. You can also attend public hearings where each district votes on the proposed levy.
Factor #2: If you don’t think your assessed property value is fair, you can appeal your assessment up to twice each year in a process that starts with researching the property values of other comparable properties in your neighborhood. At Kensington, this is how we help save our clients tens of thousands of dollars in property taxes every year.
Factor #3: The state-issued equalization factor is calculated annually for each county by the Illinois Department of Revenue as a multiplier to ensure that the total property value in each county is 33 1/3 % of the fair market value. This proposed rate is also the subject of a public hearing each year.
Factor #4: Applying for all the property tax exemptions for which you are eligible is an important part of making sure you are not paying more than you should. If you have questions, we are here to help and provide you with answers.
How We Can Help
At Kensington, we can’t ensure that you get the elected officials of your choice and we don’t have any influence over the initial EAV. What we can do, however, is help to ensure that you are not paying more than you should for your property taxes as the result of an assessment that is too high.
We have decades of experience and a proprietary algorithm for analyzing your assessment. We help you with your appeal, not once, but twice each year.
We can also ensure that you have applied for and received the benefit of any exemptions for which you are eligible.
Free Analysis of Your Tax Bill
If you would like to see whether your property taxes can be reduced, please contact us for a free, no-obligation analysis of your tax bill. Our clients have a 90% success rate and pay nothing unless they win a reduction.
Give us a call or click on the link to learn more.