The appeals process - What reasons qualify for an appeal?

My neighbor obtained a certificate of error and it reduced his taxes. What is a certificate of error?

A certificate of error is a written acknowledgment that a mistake of fact in an assessment has occurred. Examples of errors include an incorrect listing of square footage, a garage or other structure on the parcel that does not exist, or other errors about the physical characteristics of the parcel. An overvaluation of the parcel is not an error in fact and must be addressed with an appeal of the assessment after the annual newspaper publication of assessment values rather than a certificate of error.

Certificates of error may also be issued for a parcel that was recently declared exempt from taxes or for a property that was taxed without the benefit of an exemption the taxpayer is entitled to, such as a homestead, senior, or veteran’s exemption. (Property owners who seek an exemption for their property must continue to pay property taxes until the exemption is granted.)

Certificates of error are issued upon the application of the property owner to the Board of Review or upon the Board’s own motion and must be endorsed by the Supervisor of Assessments. Certificates of error will only be issued for the current tax bill, not for past bills, and must be issued before the annual judgment and tax sale conducted by the county Treasurer.

If I think my taxes are too high is this a basis for appeal?

No, you cannot appeal your property taxes to the Board of Review because you believe your taxes are too high. The Board of Review does not have the power to set property tax rates. The taxing entities (e.g., schools, libraries, park districts) that your property sits within have the ability to set property tax rates. The Board of Review may review only the assessed valuation of the property based on the information submitted by the taxpayer. The assessed valuation of a property cannot be changed once the Board of Review completes its session for the year.

Can I appeal my taxes because I know someone with a much lower tax bill than mine, even though the person’s house is larger than my home?

No, you cannot appeal for this reason alone. There are many factors involved in generating the tax bill. For example, someone who lives within a city’s limit could have a higher tax rate due to the entities being funded by taxes. A person with a larger home may have a lower tax bill because they may have exemptions that they may not be eligible for based on age, income or disability.

My property’s assessed value increased by 35%. Can I file an appeal solely based on the percentage of increase?

No, you cannot file an appeal solely on the basis of a percentage increase.

My neighbor has a 20-acre parcel of wooded ground identical to mine that is assessed at a much lower value than my property. Is this a good basis for an equity appeal?

Not necessarily. Your neighbor may have a forestry management plan or a farmland assessment on the property. There are several conservation plans that can be approved by the State of Illinois that can help reduce the amount of your assessment. You can check with the Supervisor of Assessment’s office or the local United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (USDAFSA) office to determine if you meet the requirements. More information on conservation plans can be obtained from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Website.

Why does my home have a market value of $78,000 but an assessed value of only $26,000?

Illinois is a fractional assessment state. You are taxed on 1/3 of the market value. The taxed value is referred to as the Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV). For example, if your property has an EAV of 26,000, the full market value would be 78,007. To arrive at the full market value divide the EAV by .3333.

Show All Answers

1. The role and composition of the board of review
2. The appeals process - What reasons qualify for an appeal?
3. Changes in property values and exemptions
4. Steps for filing an appeal
5. The hearing process
6. Farm land appeals