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When do I need to have my animal vaccinated?
The State of Illinois requires that all dogs four months of age or older be currently vaccinated against rabies. At the time of vaccination, dogs shall be issued a rabies tag reflecting the current vaccination status of the animal. This tag is to be worn at all times.
What are the tagging requirements for Jackson County residents?
Most Jackson County communities have their own corporate body animal regulations which must be enforced by the city/village enforcement officers. In Jackson County, the cities of Murphysboro and Carbondale require that animals within their city limits be licensed and tagged with city registration tags. Therefore, dogs within these corporate city limits must have two tags attached to their collar or harness at all times.
Replacement tags are available free of charge for as long as your vaccination is valid from the Jackson County Animal Control office. You can call 618-687-7235 to have it mailed to you or to set up a time to pick it up.
Registration tags for the cities of Murphysboro and Carbondale are available at the Police Department of each city.
Do we have more restrictive regulations than rural (unincorporated) areas and who do I contact in these towns/villages/cities?
Most incorporated taxing bodies (towns and villages) have Animal Control Ordinances passed by their town/village boards/councils. These ordinances should be enforced by appointees of their respective towns/villages. Complaints, therefore, regarding large/stray animals in these communities should be directed to the law enforcement officer or the village hall of the town/village. (See references for local corporate governing bodies)
Who should I contact for concerns about the welfare of a dog?
Animal welfare checks for injured, sick, or dogs without proper shelter are done by local animal control officers (see contact listing for local governing bodies) and State of Illinois inspectors. State requirements are such that an owner must provide a sufficient quantity of food, water, and shelter as well as veterinary care as needed to prevent suffering. Concerns regarding care and checks should be reported to your local Animal Control agency.
What is the difference between a stray dog and a straying dog?
A straying dog is an owned dog who has wandered from the supervision/property of the owner. A stray dog is an animal for which no owner/caretaker can currently be determined. Note: Stray dogs may become straying dogs if an owner/caretaker can be identified.
Is there anything I can do about this situation?
Most towns/villages/cities have regulations regarding cats. These ordinances must be enforced by the enacting body (i.e. the town board or city council). The State of Illinois nor Jackson County does not have any requirements regarding the control of felines; vaccinations, however, are required for cats that are owned. Therefore, no action (except in the case of a bite) is taken regarding cats other than providing spay/neuter information and deterrents so as to prevent digging into gardens/flower beds, etc.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture and local Animal Control work together to enforce the Domestic Animals (Livestock) At Large Act. Incidences of livestock at large should be reported to local law enforcement agencies if they represent a hazard on roadways and then reported to either the IL Department of Agriculture office or local Animal Control for follow up. Owners of livestock are required to maintain fences or holding areas so as to prevent their stock from wandering and causing damage or representing a safety hazard.
How do I report a bite/attack or how is this handled?
What can we do to correct this?
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has been issuing commercial permits to individuals/businesses which provide removal of nuisance wildlife. In addition, private citizens may obtain free individual permits, subject to the permit restrictions to remove the animal themselves. The IDNR/Illinois Extension Service/Illinois Animal Control Association has developed a website providing information regarding nuisance wildlife complaints. Visit the Living with Wildlife Website.
Who should I contact to have the animal removed?
Since pets are considered personal property this is a matter for the legal system. You should contact your attorney to see what can be done.
The government entity maintains the section of the road where the animal is located. If it is a county road then you would contact the County Highway Department, if it's a State road you would contact IDOT at 618-549-2171, if it is a city road contact the city highway or road department and if it is a township road contact the township. (See the contact listing for local governing bodies)
No. Township assessors are independently elected public officials, although in the case of a vacancy the township supervisor and trustees can appoint or contract with a qualified person. They are elected for four-year terms.
No. State law requires an exemption to be granted only on the primary residence.
Yes. Under the state property tax code, the assessment of farmland is based on its agricultural economic value, not its fair cash value. All 102 counties in Illinois use the same certified values provided by the Department of Revenue each year. Major factors in farmland valuation include soil productivity, crop prices, and farm loan interest rates.
No. Homestead exemption amounts are set by the state legislature, not anyone in Jackson County.
No. Unlike Florida, Illinois does not authorize counties to collect payments for homestead exemptions that were granted through error, omission, or fraud. Without legislative authorization, we cannot accept this money.
Florida, though, has a different statute: If you are found to have more than one homestead exemption, Florida law provides "a penalty of 50% of the unpaid taxes for each year, plus 15% interest per year" for up to ten years.
When applying for Homestead Exemptions, taxpayers are certifying that the property upon which they are applying is their primary residence. In the case of property in states such as Florida, it can be very costly to a taxpayer to have been found to have homestead exemptions on two properties.
No. The General Assembly has required that "Where married persons maintain and reside in separate residences qualifying as homestead property, each residence shall receive 50% of the total reduction in equalized assessed valuation." Therefore, regardless of whether you have any recorded interest in your husband's property or whether your husband has any recorded interest in your property, this statute specifically limits the homestead exemption to $3,000 for each property.
No. It is the owner's responsibility to make sure all information on the property is correct. Not receiving your real estate tax bill does not negate your responsibility to pay.
No. Most normal maintenance of the home will not raise the assessment. Generally, work is deemed as maintenance and repair if it does not increase the square footage and does not materially alter the existing character and condition of the structure, but is limited to work performed for the purpose of prolonging the life of the property and keeping it in a well-maintained condition. For example, asphalt shingles replaced with asphalt shingles, house painting etc.
Yes. The tax code requires taxpayers to be mailed a notice any time their assessment changes. In addition, assessment changes must be published in the newspaper. In a reassessment year, all parcels receive a notice and are published in the paper even if there was no change. Taxpayers have 30 days from the date of newspaper publication to file an appeal to the Jackson County Board of Review.
Yes, it is too late to appeal your assessment. Assessments are certified to the Department of Revenue and a final multiplier has been determined from that data. However, it is possible to correct an error such as an exemption not being applied to the bill. An incorrect judgment or opinion on the value of your property is not justification for a corrected bill.
Yes. To review all exemptions and other available forms of property tax relief, see our the county form page on the county website or contact the Supervisor of Assessments office if you would like additional information.
You cannot freeze your taxes, however, if you are 65 years or older, own and occupy your home, and have a total household income of $55,000 or lower you can apply for the Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption (SCAFHE), which freezes your assessed value. This application can be found under county forms on the county website or in the Supervisor of Assessments office.
The Illinois Tax Code states all address changes must be in writing and signed by either the owner of record, trustee or person holding Power of Attorney (copy of POA is required). Address change forms can be obtained from the county website.
What is the Board of Review and how does the Board conduct its business?
A property owner or taxpayer who is dissatisfied with the assessment of the value of his or her property may appeal that assessment to the Board of Review. In Jackson County, the Board of Review consists of three members appointed by the County Board. Members of the Board of Review serve a two-year term and can be reappointed.
The Board of Review has the authority to hear and decide appeals of property assessments based on property owners' or taxpayers’ complaints of overvaluation and taxing districts’ complaints of undervaluation. The Board of Review may also revise any assessment on its own motion. However, assessments can be increased only after notice of the proposed increase is given to the property owner and the property owner has an opportunity to be heard. The Board of Review provides written notice to property owners (or their designated attorneys) of all decisions of the Board of Review.
A property owner dissatisfied with a decision the Board of Review may appeal the decision to the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board or file a complaint in the Jackson County Circuit Court.
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.
Will a change in the value of my property reduce my tax bill?
Not necessarily. Your property tax bill is the product of your property’s Equalized Assessed Value times the aggregate tax rate for the taxing entities where your property is located. The Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV) is your property’s fair market value times .3333. So if your EAV went down, but your aggregate tax rate went up, it is entirely possible that your actual property tax bill stayed the same or increased. The Board of Review has no power to affect the aggregate tax rate for your property.
I received a reduction in the assessed value of my property this year. How long does the new assessed value last?
In most cases it will stay until the next reassessment year for that particular township (every four years). If a change is made to the value of the property (with the exception of farmland) you will receive a change of assessment notice in the mail. That notice will give the information regarding how to appeal the change.
How do exemptions affect my property value?
Exemptions do not affect the property value. If you are eligible for exemptions they are subtracted from the EAV of your property when tax bills are calculated. For example: if you have an owner-occupied exemption (currently valued at $6,000) and your property has an EAV of $26,000, your tax bill will be based on $20,000.
I am a senior citizen receiving the assessment freeze. I know that the assessment freeze is based on income. If my adult child moves back in with me but doesn’t contribute to the household expenses, do I have to include his/her income in calculating my eligibility for the freeze?
Yes, you must include the income of you, your spouse, and all other individuals that live in your household, even if you receive no income from the individual. The additional income may affect your eligibility for an assessment freeze.
My parents have relocated to a local nursing home facility. Are they still eligible for exemptions on their property?
Yes, if the house remains empty and they retain their ownership interest in the home, they are eligible to continue to receive the exemptions. However, if the property is lived in by anyone else, including a family member, these exemptions will be removed.
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:
What can I expect if I file an appeal with the Board of Review?
The Board of Review reviews complaints after the filing deadline, which typically occurs in the fall of the year. The Board carefully considers the evidence submitted along with the completed appeal form. Generally, the Board of Review works through all the appeals by township, so it could be some weeks before your appeal is considered. Once the Board considers your appeal, you will receive a proposed decision of the Board of Review by mail. In the great majority of cases, the proposed decision will become the final decision. The Board may agree that the evidence supports the valuation you requested. Or the Board may decide the evidence supports a valuation that is different from the one you requested, but it is one you can accept.
If the Board of Review concludes the evidence does not support the value requested and you do not accept the Board’s decision, the property owner has ten days from the date of the proposed decision to file a written request for a hearing before the Board of Review.
What happens at the hearing?
The hearing is somewhat informal. At least two of the three members of the Board of Review, the Clerk to the Board of Review, and sometimes the township assessor will be present. An attorney may represent the property owner. Most property owners choose to represent themselves. The Board of Review will ask the owner to talk about the evidence submitted to prove the assessment should be changed. It may be to your benefit to submit additional evidence to support your requested valuation since the Board has already concluded the evidence submitted with your appeal did not support the valuation requested. New evidence must be submitted at least five days before the date of the hearing to allow Board members time to analyze the additional evidence.
Remember, the Board of Review may only act upon the valuation of your property. If you go to the hearing and all you have to say is that your taxes are too high, the Board will tell you that they have no jurisdiction over your tax bill. They can only discuss your assessment and the market value of your property. Your tax bill is calculated by subtracting exemptions, if any, from your assessment and multiplying them by the rates for the various districts that serve your property. A home very near to you could have a different set of taxing districts. The exemptions and the taxing districts add too many variables, so the hearing should focus only on your assessment.
When will I know the decision of the Board of Review?
A final decision is mailed to everyone who requested a hearing before the Board of Review. A final decision is also mailed to taxpayers who agreed to the proposed decision and did not request a hearing.
What if I don’t agree with the final decision of the Board of Review?
A property owner has 30 days from the date of the final decision of the Board of Review to appeal to the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB). Appeals to PTAB must use forms used by that office. These forms are available in the Supervisor of Assessments office, in the Board of Review office, and on the Illinois Department of Revenue Website.
Can I appeal my farmland assessment?
Farms are assessed according to the "agricultural economic value." This value is based on statewide studies of soil capability and of the net income generated from farmland in Illinois. Each soil type in the state is rated according to its capability of producing crops by the University of Illinois College of Agriculture. This rating is known as the "soil productivity index." A State Farmland Technical Advisory Board certifies to the Department of Revenue a five-year average net income for each of these soil ratings.
The Department of Revenue calculates soil productivity index use-value figures and certifies these values to the chief county assessment officials each year. These officials then apply the figures to the identified soil types on individual farms or parcels of farmland in order to establish an assessment.
The Board of Review does not have the authority to adjust the certified farmland equalized assessed values established by the Department of Revenue.
In a majority of the cases, visual identification is not required. Should it become necessary for you to come in or bring other records or x-rays, you will be contacted.
The Coroner's facility is not designed to accommodate viewing the remains. Arrangements can be made at the funeral home for viewing.
State law requires the Coroner to inquire into and determine the circumstances, manner, and cause of death if the death is suspicious, obscure, mysterious, or otherwise unexplained and in the opinion of the examining physician or the coroner the cause of death cannot be established definitely except by autopsy, and where a death has occurred while being pursued, apprehended, or taken into custody by or while in the custody of any law enforcement agency. An autopsy occurs when there are:
Illinois law permits corneal removal for transplantation purposes if there is no known objection. With the next of kin's consent, certain other types of tissues may also be donated and thereby help others. You may be
Call as soon as possible
The coroner will try to release the body of the decedent to the decedent's next of kin, personal representative, friends, or to the person designated in writing by the decedent or to the funeral director selected by such persons, as the case may be, for burial.
As soon as possible, select a funeral home and inform the funeral director that the death is being handled by the Coroner's office. Ask them to notify the coroner - as soon as possible.
The coroner's Office does not select funeral homes nor does it make arrangements. In the event someone is making the arrangements for the family, the Coroner must be provided with written authorization to release the deceased, signed by the legal next of kin. Should he/she reside at a distant location, they may send a FAX directly to our office using this Format (PDF).
You may obtain a copy by calling the Coroner's Office
At that time, you will be informed of the cost of this service and how this document or any Coroner records can be obtained.
The County is required to assess certain fees for transportation and storage. You will receive written correspondence to this effect when and if they apply.
The Death Certificate is filed with the Health Department by the Funeral Director. Should you require certified copies, they can be ordered through the funeral home or they may be purchased from:
Persons who have served in the Armed Forces, were honorably discharged, and meet other service requirements are entitled to a Veteran's burial. For information contact the Veteran's Affairs Office
For information on Military, Veterans, or Social Security benefits, contact your Funeral Service Practitioner.
If the deceased does not have sufficient funds for burial, the next of kin may apply for County disposition. In these circumstances, proof of indigence is required. The family should contact the Coroner's office at:
Any personal possessions in the custody of the Coroner may be claimed by the legal next of kin. To avoid any inconvenience to you, call before coming into the office.
Clothing is not usually considered property. Unless there is a need to hold clothing as evidence, it is released to the mortuary recovering the deceased. Clothing that presents a health hazard may be disposed of for the safety of all persons involved.
In order to enter a sealed residence you need to obtain permission from the agency listed on the seal. Call the Coroner's office: