In Kendall County, understanding the assessment process is crucial when it comes to managing and optimizing your property taxes. While the topic may seem complex, the calculation behind your tax bill is based on a straightforward formula. In this article, we will break down the assessment process, discuss exemptions, tax rates, and ways to save money on your property taxes. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of the process and be equipped with valuable knowledge to navigate the system effectively.
Understanding the Assessment Process
The assessment process begins with determining the assessed value of your property. This value, along with any exemptions you qualify for, is used to calculate your tax bill. Kendall County residents are entitled to various exemptions, such as the homeowner’s exemption and the senior exemption based on age and income.
Once the assessed value and exemptions are determined, they are multiplied by the tax rate, which is set by the different taxing bodies in your area. These taxing bodies include libraries, schools, fire protection districts, and others. The combined tax rate determines your final tax bill. While the assessment process may seem simple, it’s important to understand the underlying factors that contribute to your tax bill.
Lowering Your Property Tax Bill
To save money on your property taxes, it’s essential to focus on lowering your assessed value. This can be done through the appeals process. The assessment cycle begins with a list of taxable properties prepared by the clerk. Property values are valued as of January 1st, and the assessments are published by the township assessors by November 15th. The publication serves as the starting point for the appeals process, allowing property owners to contest their assessments.
In Kendall County, the Illinois Constitution mandates that properties be assessed at one-third of their market value. However, if an area is over or under-assessed, a state equalization factor may be added to correct it. Additionally, the board of review can calculate adjustments to ensure standardization across the assessed values.
Certification of the assessed values takes place by March 15th, and tax bills are mailed on or before May 1st, with payments due in June and September. It’s important to note that the assessed value is not based on real-time market fluctuations but rather a three-year average. This means that changes in property value may not immediately reflect in your tax bill.
The Importance of Assessed Valuation
The assessed valuation is a critical factor in determining your property tax bill. It refers to how your property’s value compares to other properties in your neighborhood. If you believe your assessed valuation is unfair or inconsistent with similar properties, you have the right to appeal. There are three levels of appeals available: the local level with the assessor, the board of review, and the state level with the Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB).
Working with your local assessors is crucial as they possess valuable knowledge about the area and can help you understand if your property is assessed fairly. They can also guide you through the appeals process and assist in rectifying any discrepancies. While hiring a lawyer is an option, many homeowners find success in navigating the appeals process independently with the support of their local assessors and the board of review.
Uniformity and Appeals
One of the common bases for an appeal is uniformity—ensuring that your property is assessed comparably to others in your area. The township assessor calculates market value using sales data from the prior three years. This means that if property values have experienced significant fluctuations over that period, your assessed value may not align with current market conditions. By presenting evidence of comparable properties, you can strengthen your appeal.
Appealing your property taxes does not harm the taxing bodies that rely on the revenue. When successful, an appeal only shifts the distribution of tax burden among property owners. The overall budget remains the same, and the reductions are proportionally distributed among other taxpayers. However, it’s important to note that once an appeal reaches the state level, any reduction granted can result in actual refunds being issued by the respective taxing bodies.
Understanding the assessment process and the factors that influence your property tax bill is crucial for every Kendall County homeowner. By grasping the fundamentals of assessed valuation, exemptions, and the appeals process, you can take control of your taxes and potentially save money. Remember, your local assessors are valuable resources in navigating the system and ensuring fairness in your assessment. With this knowledge and the assistance of the Office of the Republican Leader, you can confidently manage your property taxes and make informed decisions.