Understanding Property Taxes

Information Regarding Property Taxes From Assessor Tamara Torrance, CIAO

The purpose of property taxes is to support local government and services that function to maintaining a decent quality of life in our community.  All of the tax dollars collected through the property tax stay in our local community and pay for those services.  Illinois state legislature has determined that the property tax burden be  spread evenly among all the taxpayers based on the assessed value of the property that they own.  The primary responsibility of the Assessor’s Office is to discover, list and value all property as accurately, fairly and equitably as possible.  The Township Assessor must comply with Illinois State law to uniformly assess properties at 1/3 of market value (assessed value); furthermore, the Township Assessor applies specific mass appraisal techniques when necessary to the valuation process to assure that property is assessed as equitably as possible.

What can you do to control your property tax bill?

So much of the process behind the determination of how much we as property owners pay in property taxes is beyond the control of the property owners; however, the most important step property owners can take is to be certain that their property records are accurate.  Also, property owners need to be sure that they are receiving all available exemptions that they qualify for.

Monitor your Taxing Districts.

Property owners need to understand that it is not the Belvidere Township Assessor who determines how much property tax property owners pay;  while the value that the assessor places on a property ultimately does affect your total tax bill, the actual tax rates are determined by other governmental bodies.  The total tax bill that property owners receive is comprised of many different taxing bodies that each get a portion of that total tax amount.  Please look at your tax bills carefully to realize who these different taxing bodies are in your tax district.  The local school districts are the taxing body usually collecting the largest portion of your tax dollars.  All taxing body board meetings are open to the public; it may be wise to express your feelings as a property tax payer if you feel that a particular taxing body is putting too much of a burden on the property owner.

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