Illinois Property Taxes

Numerous governmental entities impact the amount of property taxes a landowner pays: (i) each county assessor establishes the value of residential and commercial property in the county, (ii) local taxing bodies budget the amount of money they need each year, (iii) the state sets the annual equalized assessed value for property in each county, and (iv) each county clerk uses all of this information to calculate the tax rate necessary to obtain the money sought by local taxing bodies and divide the bill among local landowners.

Impact of Real Estate Appraisals on Property Taxes

Real estate appraisals and valuations are foundational to the property tax assessment process. They ensure that property owners pay taxes that are commensurate with the value of their property, and they provide a mechanism for addressing discrepancies or changes in property value over time. Here's how they impact property tax assessments:

**2025 Real Estate Valuation Reforms**

Significant reforms may be coming to Illinois in 2025 or 2026 as a result of mandated reporting in 2024 by the Illinois Real Estate Valuation Task Force, which was established by Public Act 102-934. In summary, the task force is tasked with (i) reviewing historical and ongoing disparities in real estate valuations, especially those rooted in racial and ethnic biases, and (ii) providing recommendations by January 1, 2025 to harmonize valuation standards, address disparities, and ensure fairness in the real estate appraisal process in Illinois.

Impact of Exemptions on Property Taxes

Property tax exemptions play a significant role in the calculation of property tax assessments. In summary, property tax exemptions provide relief to eligible property owners by reducing their property's taxable value. While they can significantly reduce a property owner's tax liability, they also impact the revenue collected by local governments, which can have broader implications for the community's budget and services. Here's how they impact the process:

The Role of County Assessors

In Illinois, the county assessor (often referred to as the township assessor in some counties) plays a pivotal role in the process of real estate valuations and property tax assessments. They ensure properties are fairly and accurately assessed, administer tax exemptions, handle appeals, and maintain transparency through public records, which directly impacts the amount of property tax that homeowners and businesses pay each year. Here's a breakdown of their role:

Property Valuation

Annual Assessments

Property Tax Calculation

Exemptions and Reductions

Appeals and Reviews

Public Records and Transparency

Collaboration with Other Entities

Property Tax Reform History

By Doug Finke for the State Journal-Register - July 27, 2019

With property value assessments being a crucial element in the property tax equation, related activity in Cook County can be a helpful bellwether of reforms being considered in the state capital.

"The difference on a macro level is stark, too. Under Kaegi's office, the total assessed value of all commercial and industrial property in the townships rose 98 percent, to $4.83 billion, from 2018 to 2019. After appeals at the Board of Review, the assessed values rose just 35 percent, to $3.29 billion."

By Alby Gallun for Crain's Chicago - March 6, 2020

"It’s a momentous endeavor that has never been done before and could have significant ripple effects in years to come, both for local governments that rely heavily on property tax revenue to fund operations and property owners who would have to pick up the tab. But that impact won't be known until 2021, when property tax bills based on 2020 values are mailed out."

By Claudia Morell for WBEZ Chicago - April 7, 2020