**2021 Assessor’s Instructional Meeting: Guidelines for Successful Assessments in LaSalle County**

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Introduction

Welcome to the 2021 instructional meetings for LaSalle County assessors. This year, there have been some changes in the process, and this article will guide you through the important instructions and reminders for successful assessments. The goal is to ensure uniformity and equity in property assessments throughout the county. Whether you’re an experienced assessor or new to the role, this article will provide you with the necessary information to carry out your assessments effectively.

The Yellow Folder

In the yellow folder, which has been mailed out to you, you’ll find a condensed version of the instructional meeting materials. It contains important guidelines and reminders that you should keep by your computer throughout the assessment process. These materials will assist you in completing your assessments by the June 15th deadline. If you have any questions or need clarification, don’t hesitate to contact the assessment office.

Changes for 2021

The list of changes for 2021 is found in the assessors’ instructional meeting material. While the entire list is available for your reference, I will highlight the key changes that you should be aware of. Firstly, we have added a door hanger to the requirements when visiting properties. With the increasing use of video cameras and smart doorbells, it is important to provide homeowners with a way to identify who you are and why you are there. The door hanger should include your contact information in case they need to reach out to you.

Another significant change relates to first-time applications and the submission of the power of attorney (POA) paperwork. It is important to submit the POA paperwork with the homestead form, rather than the freeze form. This ensures a smoother and faster processing of the applications. Additionally, for senior citizens applying for the assessment freeze, it is mandatory to submit the 2020 income tax form to verify income. Failure to do so will result in delays and may require additional communication with the taxpayer.

Important Dates

To keep track of the assessment cycle, refer to the tax cycle timeline included in the instructional meeting materials. Some key dates to note are June 15, 2021, when split property record cards (PRCs) should be turned into the magic department. Additionally, commercial pickups and splits should be completed by July 15, 2021. Lastly, publication notices to taxpayers typically occur between September and October. It is crucial to remember these dates when planning your assessment activities.

Certification of Assessment and Other Information

Included in the instructional meeting materials is the certification of assessment for farmland values. The values for 2021 are $32.33 per acre for medium PI 111. The folder also provides important contact information for various departments within the assessment office. Please review the phone numbers and email lists to ensure they are up to date. Lastly, the folder includes a change of address sheet for South County assessors and a list of holidays observed by the county.

Reflecting on 2020 and Looking Ahead to 2021

Before diving into the details of the 2021 assessments, let’s take a moment to reflect on the challenges faced in 2020. The office experienced difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ransomware attacks. Despite these challenges, the work of the assessors was commendable, and the majority of assessments were completed successfully. Moving forward, it is hoped that 2021 will be a better year, allowing assessors to carry out fieldwork and assessments more effectively.

Understanding the Property Tax Cycle

To understand your role as an assessor, it is important to grasp the property tax cycle. The first step is for the county assessment officer (CAO) to receive the township assessors’ assessment books by January 1st. The township assessors will then discover and inventory all real properties within their jurisdiction using tax mass and property index numbers. This involves reviewing billing permits, conducting observations, and utilizing other methods to gather information.

Next, the assessors must list and describe the characteristics of the land and improvements on each property. This includes measurements, photographs, and drawings. This information is entered into the property record cards (PRCs) to estimate the value of each property accurately. The assessors’ goal is to ensure uniformity and equity in market values. The estimated value is entered into the assessment page of the assessment and depends (PAMS) system.

Once the market values are determined, the assessors apply an assessment level to arrive at assessed values for each property. It is crucial to maintain a consistent level of assessment and derive assessed values from current market values. The assessed values play a key role in property taxation and provide a basis for calculating property taxes. Your completed 2021 assessments should be submitted by June 15th, 2021, to the assessment office.

Tips for a Smooth Assessment Process

To ensure a smooth assessment process, it is essential to follow a few guidelines. When receiving the assessment changes from the assessment office, review them carefully. If you disagree with any changes, you can request a board or township-level review to address the concerns. However, when making changes, only create property record cards without altering assessments or entering reasons for change. This will prevent any conflicts or overwriting of existing information.

Finally, the instructional meeting material emphasizes the importance of ongoing communication with the assessment office. If you have any questions, concerns, or if there are any changes to your contact information, promptly inform the assessment office. Clear and timely communication will help ensure efficient processing and accurate assessments.

Conclusion

As assessors in LaSalle County, your role in determining property assessments is crucial to maintaining fairness and equity in property taxation. The 2021 Assessor’s Instructional Meeting provides you with the necessary information and guidelines to carry out your assessments successfully. From understanding the property tax cycle to following specific instructions and deadlines, this article has covered key points for a smooth assessment process. By adhering to these guidelines, you can confidently complete your assessments and contribute to ensuring a fair and accurate property tax system in LaSalle County.

Remember, if you have any questions or need further clarification, the assessment office is there to assist you. Here’s to a successful assessment season in 2021!


Keywords: Lasalle County Assessment Office, 2021 Assessor’s Instructional Meeting, property assessments, instructional meeting materials, assessment cycle, guidelines, uniformity, equity, property record cards, assessment changes, communication.

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