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Should You Appeal Your Property Assessment?

The Lake County Assessors Office offers information on who should appeal, and step-by-step instructions if you wish to do so.

With property assessment notices due to arrive in your mailbox soon, you may consider filing an appeal if you disagree with the numbers.

In Lake County, 25,000 appeals were filed last year. That's up from 9,700 in 2007.

"The assessments change slower than the market changes," explained Assistant Chief County Assessment officer Karl Jackson. "It does take time for the assessments to level off so that's why more people are appealing it."

Township assessors are required by law to use sale prices from the last three years, so it is not a reflection of today's real estate market.

The intent of the property assessments is not to individually assess each home, but rather use a formula on a group of properties to help allocate the tax burden fairly. A good calculation, Jackson said, is that the assessed value should reflect one third of the fair cash value of the property.

By filing an appeal  you have the potential to lower your property taxes. "If your assessment is reduced more than the general public's, you'll see it on your taxes," Jackson said. "You will effectively pay less taxes on what you would have paid, if you win the appeal." However, Jackson warns, that doesn't always happen.

Assessed values are just one component of determing property tax bills, according to the Assessor's office. The key factor is levy requests from local goverments. If the levy requests stay the same or increase, so will property tax bills.

Jackson said about three quarters of all appeals are successful. He encourages property owners to take a close look at their notices, and to file an appeal, or at least ask questions if you are unsure about doing so.

The Appealing Process

The Lake County Assessors office has made it very easy to file an appeal with step-by-step directions.

Appeals must be made within 30 days of the notice, and are usually filed for one of the following reasons:

  • The assessment has a factual error (e.g., incorrect square footage).
  • The assessment is greater than one-third of the subject property’s recent sale price.
  • The assessment is greater than one-third of the subject property’s market value.
  • The assessment of the subject property is higher than that of comparable properties.

On the Assessors website you'll find a checklist for what documents you will need for your appeal, all the forms you'll need to fill out, rules for the board of review and when the hearings will take place.

Jackson suggests before you file an appeal, to call your Township's Assessor to determine if it is necessary or not.

Avon Township can call their assessor R. Chris Ditton at 847-546-2146, Fremont Township can contact Edwin Sullivan, Jr. at 847-223-2846 or via email at FremontAssessor@lakecountyil.gov and Warren Township can call Charlie Mullin at 847-244-1101.

You can also sign up to receive important updates on assessment information, taxpayer outreach, board of review filing deadlines and more here.

Have you appealed your property assessment? Was it successful? Tell us in the comments section below.

DMAC August 02, 2012 at 11:23 AM
Simple answer. When you get your blue card you multiply your assessed value by 3.333. If that figure is above the Fair Market Value you think your home is (not including foreclosures) then by all means CONTEST YOUR ASSESSMENT.
Brad Faxton August 02, 2012 at 12:59 PM
I come up with $359,000 (last years 'blue card' FMV) - Hmm. Recent sales in our neighborhood for the exact same model have sold for $250k. Something aint adding up. Lets see what they come up with this year.
Lennie Jarratt August 02, 2012 at 03:17 PM
DMAC is correct. If you have questions contact your assessor and appeal if it seems correct. However, if you want to actually start lowering your property taxes, attend your local school board, park district, library district, township and village board meeting asking Did you include a levy increase in your budget? If so, please also present a budget without a levy increase for the public to review as an option. It's budget season and the time to start asking questions is now.
Nightcrawler August 02, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Almost no Lake County properties are selling for what they are assessed at, period. But the County is in denial about that. And when homes are listed, they tend to sit on the sales block for way longer than anyone realizes.
Local August 02, 2012 at 05:48 PM
I couldn't sell my house for anywhere close to its assessed value. Everyone is taking the hit on they're property values, but as usual, government doesn't want to share in the pain. They continue to spend as usual, or more. When will people stand up and say ENOUGH!!
Nightcrawler August 02, 2012 at 05:58 PM
This is a great question. The poster above you, Lennie, ran for State Representative and lost because so many people were spouting ridiculous, hate-filled lies about him on this very site. Simply because he helped, along with a few others, to uncover corruptuon in his local school district (as if that were a bad thing to tell people). It just goes to show you how deep-rooted things are when it comes to politics, even at the school level, and it only gets worse as you go up the ladder. So I guess the answer is, when people are smart enough to vote all the existing incumbents out of office, Local. But hey, that would take some independent thinking as a society in general...the same society that can't drive 10 feet without texting all day in their cars, or staying glued to faacebook 24/7.
Brad Faxton August 02, 2012 at 06:29 PM
It is against the terms of agreement not to use your real name. "A valid point.....again", this needs to be changed.
Nightcrawler August 02, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Then they need to go through their entire system and make sure everyone uses their real name. Perhaps they should check for ID. What are you like 5 years old? Who cares? Like a schoolyard child tattling on someone, Grow up.
Nightcrawler August 02, 2012 at 06:47 PM
There Brad, hopefully you are happy now. Perhaps I would use my real name if I hadn't found out Patch looked up someone's IP address on here I knew once, then contacted them and harassed them about their alleged posting...then accused him of making the post when in fact it was someone else using the same network/server. Which was a huge violation of that person's privacy. So forgive me if I am being careful not to trust anyone. It could just as easily happen to you.
Nightcrawler August 02, 2012 at 06:48 PM
If Brad is truly your real name. How is anyone going to prove any of the names on here are real? Are you going to track everyone down and ask them for ID? Seriously, find something better to do Brad, it is quite childish.
Nightcrawler August 02, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Funny, Brad, why did you single ME out? Because I stuck up for Lennie? Why aren't you also whining about the two other names above my posts from DMAC and Local? Those clearly aren't their real names either, yet strangely you whine about my screen name and not theirs. So take your agenda elsewhere. People are tired of it when there is a legitimite discussion taking place about an actual serious issue on this board. All you are doing is going on this site and looking for someone to pick arguements with, especially those who comment in agreement with something Lennie says, which you have a lengthy history of doing on this board.
Brad Faxton August 02, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Ha! Like Brad is my real name.
Brad Faxton August 02, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Oh, this makes me laugh a lot.
Brad Faxton August 02, 2012 at 09:36 PM
3 posts in a few mins? Sounds like **SOMEONE** woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I enjoy knowing that you are at home stewing, steaming and just generally irritated. That made my afternoon - ok, break time is over. I need to get back to Cinnabon.
Brad Faxton August 02, 2012 at 09:37 PM
*giggle* I love how I got your dander all fluffing away.
Tom bennett August 02, 2012 at 10:00 PM
I applaud Lennie for informing residents on how to track down the ridiculous amount of money spent by my representatives, locally and at the state level. I pay 12,000 a year in taxes on a house I paid 270,000 for in 2009. That is absurd! I have friends with 800,000 dollar houses that pay what I do in taxes! Lennie uncovered corruption in the school board. When I first read the articles in the Daily Herald they made him out to be some kook. Then it turns out there is actually something to it. In the end he was right! I say thanks for opening my eyes to some local corruption and maybe I will start spreading the word in my neighborhood. We all pay sky-high taxes and deserve better!
Katherine August 02, 2012 at 11:03 PM
This pretty much sums the answer up. It is not very complicated about when you mostly likely should appeal.
Katherine August 02, 2012 at 11:04 PM
so stand up for yourself and appeal!
Nightcrawler August 02, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Irritated? No. Reading your moronic posts? Yes.
Katherine August 02, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Well, some much for rational conversations about our realestate tax bills.
GuitarMan August 03, 2012 at 02:20 AM
Even though I've disagreed in the past with Mr. Jarratt, the point is well taken. The public needs to attend open meetings and ask why regarding budgets. Just a warning, you will get push back, don't get confrontational, don't stray to another topic, just persist with what are the dollars, and what are they spent on.
Nightcrawler August 03, 2012 at 04:05 AM
It is absurd. Vote these people out next time.
Nightcrawler August 03, 2012 at 04:09 AM
There was a local journalist who was also saying the same things for months on here,but that guy hardly ever posts here anymore. I'm guessing he probably got tired of being attacked for shedding light on the truth too.
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