The Property Tax Bill
Of primary concern to the taxpayer is how does all of this translate into the tax dollars that will have to be paid.
The formula that determines your tax bill is made up of several elements; 1) the assessed value of your property that is assigned by the local township assessor, 2) any township or county multipliers or adjustments to that assessment – which can by law be issued by the Supervisor of Assessments, the County Board of Review and/or the State Department of Revenue, 3) any exemptions that the property owner might qualify for, and 4) the current tax rate for the taxing district where the property is located.
How to assess your Property Tax Bill
((Assessed Value * Multiplier) – Exemptions) * Tax Rate = Your Tax Bill
The Assessed Value is only part of the formula where local township assessor is involved, other than tracking some exemptions.
The assessment office must discover, list and assign assessed values to every property in the jurisdiction. The State has also determined that in Illinois this should be a fractional assessment or 33 1/3% of market value. Market value as defined by the current text of the International Association of Assessing Officers is “The most probable sale price of a property in terms of money in a competitive and open market, assuming that the buyer and seller are acting prudently and knowledgeably, allowing sufficient time for the sale, and assuming that the transaction is not affected by undue pressures.”
This office monitors all sales that occur in Normal Township and analyzes the local real estate market, economic conditions, supply and demand factors and other influences which affect property values.
The office maintains records of ownership and sale information as well as property characteristics that are updated every time a physical change is made to the property. These characteristics are used in conjunction with our analysis of sales in the real estate market to estimate a market value, and then an assessed value of your property.
Our goal is to determine an accurate market value estimate of your property and to assure that similar properties have similar assessments.
The State of Illinois requires all counties to be assessed at the statutory level (33 1/3%) of market value. County multipliers (or equalization factors) can be issued by the State Department of Revenue to individual counties within the state to equalize each county to the required level. Township multipliers can be also be issued at the county level by the County Supervisor of Assessments and/or the County Board of Review which forces the individual townships within the county to the required level of assessments. When these multipliers are assigned on the township level, then the multiplier assigned by the state to the county is usually 1.0000 which has no additional impact on the assessment.
Assessment jurisdictions monitor all sales and compare the sale price to assessed value by dividing assessed value by sale price. This creates a ratio that should be near 33.33%. All of the ratios created in a year are then listed from lowest ratio to highest ratio. The center of the list is then found. This center ratio is found for the last three years lists. These three centers (median ratios) are then averaged. If the average is below 33.33, the jurisdiction is considered under assessed, and a multiplier greater than 1.00 is issued to force the average ratio to 33.33. If the average is greater than 33.33, then properties are considered over assessed and a multiplier of less than 1.00 is issued to force the average ratio to 33.33.
Certain properties, including farmland, coal assessments and property assessed by the Department of Revenue (railroad operating property, pollution control facilities, and low sulfur dioxide coal fueled devices) are not subject to equalization.
Exemptions are specific dollar amounts that are deducted from the Equalized Assessed Value before taxes are calculated. Taxpayers must qualify for these exemptions based on specific requirements for each exemption.
- General Homestead Exemption
- Home Improvement Exemption
- Senior Citizen’s Exemption
- Senior Citizen’s Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption
- Returning Veterans
- Disabled Persons Senior Citizen Tax Deferral
General Homestead Exemption
If homeowners own and reside in their property, they are eligible for a General Homestead Exemption of up to $6,000 to be deducted from the assessed value before their tax bill is calculated. If you meet these requirements and do not have the General Homestead Exemption indicated on your tax bill, please call this office. This exemption continues from year to year unless their is a change in the use of the property. If the property sells and the new owner meets the requirements, the exemption automatically transfers to the new owner.
Home Improvement Exemption
Homeowners who improve existing property (an addition, garage, deck, finished basement, etc.) that they own and reside in, qualify for a Home Improvement Exemption based on the amount added to the assessed value for the improvement. This four (4) year exemption has a maximum amount of $75,000 market value ($25,000 assessed value). Eligibility starts January 1 after completion of the improvement. This office provides a list to the County Supervisor of Assessments every year with eligible homeowners and exemption amounts, so if you meet the above requirements this exemption will be automatic.
Senior Citizen Exemption
Homeowners who own and reside in their property and who are 65 or older are eligible for the Senior Citizen’s Exemption, which deducts an additional $5,000 from the assessed value. Senior Citizens should apply for this exemption at this office anytime during the year that they turn 65. In subsequent years, a renewal form will be mailed to all who receive this exemption that needs only to be signed and returned to this office.
Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption
This exemption applies to you if you meet these qualifications:
- You are the owner of record of the residence
- You were living in the residence on January 1 of the year they apply and on January 1 of the previous year
- You are 65 or older or will turn 65 or older during the calendar year you apply
- The total previous year’s income of everyone living in the residence on January 1 of the year you apply is $55,000 or less. This requirement relates to “household” income, which includes the income of all persons who live with you.
This exemption freezes the assessed value, not the taxes. If taxing bodies ask for more dollars, your tax bill could still increase.
Senior Citizens must apply for this exemption every year as their income could change from year to year. Application forms are mailed by the Supervisor of Assessments to everyone who has the Senior Citizen’s Exemption. Persons who wish to apply for the first time may contact this office or the Supervisor of Assessments Office at 888-5130.
At the same time the assessment process is taking place, the taxing authorities (the entities within the jurisdictions that receive tax dollars and perform services, i.e., the school district, the county, the city or town, the township, the community college district, the library, the water district, the airport authority, the road district, etc.) are fulfilling their budget and levy duties.
Each taxing body prepares, holds hearings on, and passes a levy and a budget. The levy outlines the amount of money needed from the property tax to fund the budget and its programs. Each authority then files their levy with the county clerk and the total equalized assessed value for that taxing authority is then used to determine the tax rate according to the following formula:
Levy / Equalized Assessed Value = Tax Rate
The overall tax rate is the cumulative rate of all the individual taxing authorities. There are a number of different cumulative tax rates in Normal Township based on the different taxing authorities that are included. The total 1999 Tax Rate for Normal Township Tax Code 01: $6.87860 per $100 of Assessed Value or .0687860 for use in above formula.
Some things to note:
If the equalized assessed value increases and the dollar amount to be funded remains the same, then the tax rate will decrease.
Then the dollar amount to be funded increases beyond a corresponding increase in the equalized assessed value, the tax rate will increase.
Increased spending by the taxing authority accounts for such an increase and it is also the reason an authority keeps its rate the same in the face of increasing equalized assessed values.