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Property Assessment Appeals

Illinois system for appealing property assessments

The system for appealing property assessments in Illinois is a multi-level system that affords several opportunities for taxpayers to have incorrect or inaccurate assessments corrected.  Those levels include the Township Assessor level, the County Board of Review level, the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board level, and if the owners are still not satisfied after exhausting these administrative remedies they can take their appeal to court.

Informal appeal

If a property owner thinks their assessment is incorrect, the township assessor should be the first person contacted.  An assessor who still has the assessment books for a given year can correct any assessment.  Calling an erroneous assessment to the assessor's attention early in the year may result in a correction without using the formal appeal process.  Property owners should contact their township assessor for information.

Formal appeal

If the property owner still thinks their assessment is incorrect they are entitled to proceed with a formal appeal to the county Board of Review if the deadline for filing a complaint has not passed.

Timing of appeals

The statutory time for filing appeals (complaints) with the county Board of Review is within 30 days after assessments are published.  Assessments were published in 2018 on July 18 and 19th and the deadline is August 20, 2018.  The next opportunity to file a Real Estate Assessment Complaint will be in 2019.

Reasons for an appeal

A formal complaint may be based on any of the following claims:

  • The assessor's market value is higher than actual market value.  This claim can be supported if the property has recently been purchased on the open market, if a professional appraisal is supplied or if the appellant supplies convincing evidence from sales of comparable properties that the value is too high.
  • The assessed value is at a higher percentage of market value for the property than the prevailing township median level, as shown by an assessment /sales ratio study.
  • The assessment is based on inaccurate information, such as an incorrect measurement of a lot or building.
  • The assessment is higher than those of similar neighboring properties.
  • The assessment was made on an illegal basis.

Steps in preparing an assessment appeal

The preparation of an assessment appeal has seven steps.

  1. Determine the fair market value for the property.    
  2. Determine the prevailing assessment level in the jurisdiction.  
  3. Obtain the assessed valuation of the property.     
  4. Discuss the assessment with the township assessor.    
  5. Determine the basis for the formal complaint.     
  6. File a written complaint with the Board of Review.    
  7. Present evidence at the hearing with the Board of Review

Evidence needed

To support a claim of an unfair assessment, supporting evidence is required.  Some evidence may be obtained from the township assessor's office, from a professional appraiser, or through research.  Pertinent evidence may include some or all of the following:

  • a copy of the property record card (PRC) (available from the Township Assessor) and photographs of the property under appeal,
  • a copy of PRCs and photographs of similar or neighboring properties
  • a market value appraisal of the subject property,
  • a list of recent sales of comparable properties, including photographs, PRCs, and evidence of the sales prices,
  • a comparison of the assessed value of the subject property to the assessed values of similar properties.
  • photographs of elements detracting from the value of the property not shown on the PRC and an estimate, in terms of dollars, of their negative effect on the market value,
  • a form for listing details about comparable properties is on the back of the Board of Review complaint form.  This form can be used to list properties that have sold to support a claim related to the market value of the subject or it can be used to list properties that are similar that have lower assessments to support a claim of unequal treatment in the assessment process.
  • The complete Board of Review rules are available on the Board's webpage

Appeals to the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board

If the property owner is dissatisfied with the Board of Review's decision, the owner can appeal the assessment to the State Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB).  Forms for filing that appeal are available in the Supervisor of Assessments and Board of Review Offices.  Appeals to the PTAB must be postmarked within 30 days of the date of Board of Review's decision.  PTAB hearings are held in Rockford and the property owner is not required to hire an attorney.

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