Understanding Your Property Taxes
Property taxes are the most local form of tax that we have in Illinois. All property taxes stay here, within districts in Jackson County. These are your school districts, libraries, county government, villages, townships, and more. Decisions about how property tax money is spent are made at the district level, by locally elected boards.
Simply put, you have a say! Participation in the process is important to ensure the districts and those who represent you are spending your money efficiently.
Where Do Our Property Taxes Go?
The distribution of property taxes varies depending on the location of the property. Below is a chart showing the distribution of property taxes throughout all districts in Jackson County. To view your individual bill and see the distribution of your taxes, see the Property Tax Lookup.
|Cities, villages, incorporated towns||7.03%|
|Township and road districts||4.86%|
|Fire protection districts||0.45%|
How Are Property Taxes Calculated?
There are many factors that go into the calculation of the amount of tax for each property. The main factor is your property’s assessed value. The assessed value is 33 1/3 percent of the property’s fair market value, excluding farmland and farm buildings.
Illinois Department of Revenue General Property Tax Information and Resources - This includes an overview of how property taxes are calculated in Illinois and information about appeals and exemptions.
What Should I Do If There Is An Error On My Tax Bill?
If you believe your tax bill is missing exemptions, contact the County Assessment Office at 618-687-7220.
If you believe your assessment is incorrect, making your bill too high, contact the Jackson County Board of Review in order to begin the appeal process. It is recommended that if your appeal hearing date is after the tax due date, please pay the amount currently due and a refund will be issued after the appeal if there is a reduction in the tax. This will prevent you from incurring late penalties.
What If I Object To My Tax Bill?
First, we recommend checking with the Assessor’s Office to make sure there are not any errors or exemptions missing.
Second, you can appeal your property assessment through the Jackson County Board of Review.
Finally, if you have been through the two above steps, and still believe that your tax bill is unfair you must pay the taxes and file a tax objection complaint with the Circuit Clerk (also known as a payment under protest). You must also appear in court to explain the objection to the tax bill amount. Payment under protest is a legal process, not a process through the Treasurer’s Office, and the bill still must be paid by the set due dates in order to avoid late penalties.
What Happens If I Do Not Pay My Property Taxes?
In Illinois, taxpayers are still responsible for the tax even if a bill is not received.
In (35 ILCS 200/20-15):
“The failure or neglect of the collector to mail the bill, or the failure of the taxpayer to receive the bill, shall not affect the validity of any tax, or the liability for the payment of any tax.”
There are several steps that are taken to collect unpaid property taxes:
- The taxpayer is mailed a certified letter notifying them of delinquency and the next steps
- The unpaid parcel information is published in a local newspaper
- If still unpaid after a period of time, taxes are put up for sale at the annual tax sale. This is the annual auction of delinquent taxes to tax buyers. The tax sale does not auction off the actual property. At this auction, tax buyers bid on an interest rate (between 0-9%) and unpaid property taxes. If a tax buyer wins the auction, they will be responsible for paying the taxes for that year. If the property owner redeems the taxes, the tax buyer will be paid back the amount of the taxes paid plus the interest bid. If the property owner does not redeem the taxes by the next tax cycle, the tax buyer has the opportunity to buy subsequent year taxes. After 30 months without the back taxes being redeemed by the property owner, the tax buyer can ask the court for a tax deed to the property, at which point the tax buyer becomes the legal owner.
- If a tax buyer does not buy the taxes at the annual tax sale, the property tax goes to the Jackson County Trustee, an agent of Jackson County. After 30 months of being unpaid, the Jackson County Trustee will take possession of the deed and property and are entered into the Sealed Bid Auction. Buyers submit a minimum bid and the property is sold at the highest bid. The buyer is not responsible for back taxes on the property. The Sealed Bid Auction is held once per year. Catalogs for the auction are available approximately 30 days prior to the auction and can be viewed either online at Illinois Tax Deeds | Illinois Tax Liens (iltaxsale.com) or in the Treasurer’s Office.