Steps for filing an appeal

How do I file an appeal?

The annual assessment notice is published in the local newspaper. You have 30 days from the publication date to file an appeal. The publication date refers to the day the assessment was published in the local newspaper. Don’t miss the deadline. By statute, your appeal cannot be accepted after the deadline. The appeal will be applied to the tax year when you appeal. For example, if you appeal the 2016 tax year assessment, the Board of Review decision will affect the 2016 property taxes due in 2017.

Does the Board of Review grant extensions of time to file an Assessment Appeal?

No. Each year the Supervisor of Assessments publishes all assessment changes for each of Jackson County’s sixteen townships. Taxpayers must file appeals within 30 days from the date the Supervisor of Assessments publishes the assessment changes for the township where the property is located. No extensions of time to appeal are possible. If you were granted an extension of time, then even one taxpayer could delay mailing tax bills for all. Property tax bills cannot be delayed for all taxpayers because some taxpayers failed to meet the appeals deadline.

If I mail my assessment appeal form to the Board of Review, does it have to arrive in the Board’s office by the filing deadline?

No, the appeal form along with supporting documentation does not have to arrive in the Board of Review office by the filing deadline. However, appeal forms must be postmarked by the filing deadline for each specified township in order to be considered as timely filed.

What is the difference between an appeal based on equity and an appeal based on market value?

Determine if your appeal is to be based on equity or on market value. When you file an appeal based on equity, you are comparing assessments of comparable properties in your neighborhood. If your appeal is based on market value, you must identify recent sales data to support the fact that your property may be over-assessed. Remember, you need to use comparable properties. That means you should offer comparisons of properties of similar size, story height, quality of construction, and style. A fully completed Board of Review assessment appeal form must be filed, along with supporting evidence that may include any of the following: a certified appraisal, a completed comparable grid comparing similar properties, a closing/settlement statement from a purchase of the property within the last two years and recent photos.

What is market value?

Market value is the amount at which a property would sell in a competitive and open market, presuming that: (1) both the buyer and seller are knowledgeable about the sale and are using sound judgment by allowing sufficient time for the sale and; (2) the sale is not affected by undue pressures (e.g., foreclosures, bankruptcy, etc.); (3) the property was exposed to the market (such as through a real estate broker, a "for sale" sign, an internet listing, or other comparable advertising) and/or (4) the sale is an "arms-length transaction in that buyer and seller have no special relationship.

If a property has recently sold, does that set the market value and can I appeal based on the purchase price?

Not necessarily. While recent sales are very helpful, they are not conclusive. Using recent sales prices to determine the fair cash value and tax assessments of only certain parcels of property, while not considering the same sales in valuing other property, violates the uniformity clause of the Illinois Constitution. So, the Board of Review must consider the sales values of other properties.

What constitutes an appeal based on equity?

An equity appeal (referred to as an equity of assessment complaint in the Board Rules) alleges that the equalized assessed valuation (EAV) of your property is higher than the EAVs of substantially identical properties owned by your neighbors. The taxpayer must show the allegation with clear and convincing evidence, which is a higher burden of proof than the preponderance of evidence standard required for other types of assessment appeals.

Example: You live in a ten-home subdivision that was developed five years ago. Three-floor plans were available and your home and three other homes in the neighborhood are based on the 1,800 square feet ranch floor plan. Your EAV is $50,000, while the other three ranch homes in the neighborhood have EAVs between $40,000 and $42,000.

This appears to be the beginning of a successful equity appeal. However, the taxpayer must provide the Board of Review with the evidence necessary to come to a judgment that your home is inequitably assessed. First, the assessment appeal form must be completed. Particular attention must be paid to the owner’s estimate of market value (page 1 of the Form), to page 2 of the Form (Please tell us about your property), and to page 3 of the Form (Property Comparison Grid). The evidence must show that the homes are substantially identical and as a result, their EAVs should be substantially identical. Lot sizes, home additions, garages, decks, porches, swimming pools, and patios that differ among the subject property and the comparable properties may account for the differences in EAVs.

What is the most frequent reason for the denial of an appeal by the Board of Review?

The most frequent reason for the denial of an appeal is that the property owner failed to meet the burden of proof. The property owner must provide the Board of Review with evidence that shows the property in question is over-assessed. First, the assessment appeal form must be completely filled out. The property owner must provide the owner’s estimate of the market value of the property, plus evidence to support that estimate. Initiating an assessment appeal is not something that can be done in an hour. Property owners who invest the time and effort to gather and communicate evidence concerning their assessment appeal enjoy a greater likelihood of a favorable outcome. The Jackson County website has many online property resources available that may help you complete the form. The Board of Review web page contains a link to a web page that shows assessments by parcel number. The Supervisor of Assessment’s web page has links to other property tax resources.

Do I have to have an appraisal to support my appeal?

An appraisal by a certified appraiser (that was completed within two years of the date of the appeal) is recommended since it presents an unbiased independent opinion of the value of the property. However, an appraisal is not required. If you do rely on an appraisal, the appraiser must be present to testify at a Board of Review hearing if requested by the taxpayer.

When preparing an appeal you should remember:

  • The best evidence to value is a recent appraisal, a recent sale of the property, or recent sales of similar properties.
  • Assessed values are required by law to be based on the three prior years of actual sales transactions within the jurisdiction. For example, the 2013 assessed value was based on sales occurring during the 2010, 2011, and 2012 calendar years.
  • Be sure to review your property characteristics at the assessor's office before filing an appeal.
  • When comparing properties in your area, use only similar properties (i.e. same design, same size, etc.).

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