There are basically two grounds on which to base an appeal of your assessed value; 1) you believe the assessment is inaccurate based on market value (you could not sell your property for that amount if you were to list it for sale) or 2) you believe the assessment is inequitable (similar homes to yours do not have a similar assessment). Supporting either of these two arguments will require you as the taxpayer to have some supporting documentation, either sale prices or assessments of comparable (similar) properties. Our office can assist you in securing this information.
Timing is an issue when filing these appeals so be sure to track where you are in the assessment cycle when you decide to appeal.
Keep in mind that this appeal must be related to the value of your property as expressed in its assessed value. The amount of your tax bill is outside our control.
Informal Appeal with the Assessor:
The best time to appeal your assessment is with the local assessor at the time you receive an initial notification of change in assessment or anytime during the year, before the assessor closes his books (usually in the fall of the year). Once the assessor has closed his books for that assessment year and turned them over to the Supervisor of Assessment – any informal appeal at this level will have to wait until the next assessment year. The following steps should help you in preparing for this informal appeal.
- Look at the new market value of your property. Be as objective as possible.
- If you believe the market would not support our estimate of the value of your property, or that your assessment is not equitable with others, please call our office.
- Be prepared to support your position by offering some evidence of the value you believe to be correct or indicate the value of similar properties.
- Our office will verify with you all property characteristics and may ask to schedule an interior inspection to aid in the review process.
- We will explain how we determined your assessed value, provide you with the values on comparable properties and offer any other assistance we can provide.
- If we determine a new market value for your property, we will adjust your assessed value for the current assessment year. If we believe our value is correct as it stands you have the option of appealing to the next level; a formal appeal with the Board of Review.
We want to work with you to assure the fair and equitable assessment of your property. Call 452-1951 to schedule an informal appeal.
Formal Appeal with the Board of Review:
If you do not appeal your assessment to the local assessor or if you wish to further contest the assessor’s value, then the next level of appeal is with the County Board of Review. This appeal must occur within a thirty (30) day period after the publication of your township’s assessments in a newspaper having general circulation in the township (for Normal township this publication is made in the Normalite). The Supervisor of Assessments authorizes this publication after that office has received the books from the local township assessor and it can include any multiplier assigned by the Supervisor. You can always call this office or the Supervisor of Assessment’s office to find out when this publication will occur.
Since this is a more formal appeal, you will be required to fill out an appeal form. For a complete description of McLean County’s Board of Review rules and to download complaint forms please go to their website.
After receipt of your appeal form within the required thirty day time period, the Board will schedule a hearing date for you to appear along with the local township assessor and both sides should be prepared to present supporting evidence of the assessed value that they believe to be accurate.
The following lists outlines some of the documentation (not inclusive) that should be helpful in this appeal process:
- Any recent sale price of the property being appealed
- Recent appraisal of subject property
- List of recent sale prices of comparable properties
- List of assessments of similar properties
- Sketch of subject property to confirm correct square footage
The appeal hearings generally last 15-20 minutes for residential properties and approximately 30 minutes for commercial properties. The Board of Review will notify you of their decision in writing. Their decision will either uphold the local assessor’s value or adjust the assessed value to a different number.
If the Board of Review would happen to issue a township multiplier, all persons within the township would also receive official notice from the Board of this change in assessment.
Formal Appeal with the Property Tax Appeals Board:
If a property owner is still in disagreement with the assessed value after the findings of the Board of Review or if the Board of Review assigns a multiplier to the property, then the next level of recourse is with the Property Tax Appeal Board. Please note that you must have exhausted other avenues of appeal before going to PTAB, i.e., you must be contesting a Board of Review value. You have thirty (30) days from the date of the Board of Review’s written notice to appeal to the Property Tax Appeal Board. Appeals must be filed on the prescribed PTAB form within this thirty day window. For a full description of the requirements to file with this State Board please go to their website.