Will County Supervisor of Assessments
Frequently Asked Questions


1) What is an assessment?
  2) What is Market Value?
  3) How is Market Value determined?
  4) How can I tell if my Assessor has placed a fair value on my property?
  5) What can I do if I don't agree with my Assessment?
  6) What if I think my tax bill is too high?
  7) How does my Assessment affect my tax rate?
  8) What are my taxing districts?
  9) My Assessed Value has decreased, so why have my taxes increased?
  10) Do foreclosures in my neighborhood affect my property taxes?
  11) Is there any tax relief available for homeowners?


What is an assessment?

An assessment is the property value that is officially entered in the county assessment books (sometimes called the "tax roll"). This value is used to determine what portion of the total tax burden each property owner will bear. Your Assessed Value is 33.33% of the Fair Market Value of your property. Remember, Will County uses a three-year study to determine assessments; therefore, we are always a year behind. For example, 2019 assessments are based off of sales from 2018, 2017, and 2016.




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.).



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How is Market Value determined?

One or more of the following three methods is used to determine market value:

  • Market Data - Similar, neighboring properties that have sold recently are compared to the property being assessed.
  • Cost - The cost to reproduce (or rebuild) the property is calculated, the amount for depreciation (e.g., wear and tear, age) is subtracted, and land value is then added.
  • Income - The present worth of the income from an income-producing property is calculated by measuring the amount, quality, and durability of the future net income the property can be expected to return to an investor.


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How can I tell if my Assessor has placed a fair value on my property?

The first method is to compare the Fair Market Value of your property with recent sales of similar properties in your neighborhood. This method is appropriate if you have recently purchased your property or have obtained a professional appraisal. The second method is to compare the Assessed Value of your property with similar properties in your neighborhood. You can get this information from your Township Assessor or the Supervisor of Assessments office.



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What can I do if I don’t agree with my assessment?

It is strongly recommended that you discuss your assessment with your Township Assessor before you file a complaint. If you would still like to file a complaint after you talk to your Assessor, you may file an appeal with the Will County Board of Review. For details on filing an appeal, call us or drop by our office. Forms are also available on our website on our Forms page. Commercial, Residential, and Farm appeal forms are available to download in PDF format.



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What if I think my tax bill is too high?

Once you have received your tax bill, it is too late to appeal your assessment for that levy year. Assessments should be appealed soon after Assessment Notices are published and mailed in late August of the prior year. Only actual errors of fact (e.g., missing exemptions, incorrect square footage, miscalculation of tax rate, etc.) can be corrected after you receive your tax bill. If you believe an actual error of fact was made on your tax bill, please contact your Township Assessor. Contact information for your Township Assessor is available on our website on our Assessor Information page.



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How does my Assessment affect my tax rate?

It doesn’t. Your tax rate is determined by Local Taxing Districts.



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What are Taxing Districts?

Taxing Districts are local government units including townships, counties, municipalities, schools, and park districts that use property tax to finance the majority of services that they provide citizens. School districts receive the majority of property tax revenue for education.

If you look at your tax bill, the taxing districts are listed along with the amount each one receives from your tax contribution. The information will look something like the example below:

taxing-districts-table



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My Assessed Value has decreased, so why have my taxes increased?

Local government spending plays the most significant role in whether or not your taxes increase or decrease. If Taxing Districts increase their spending, the tax rate will often increase to cover their expenditures. Therefore, even if your assessed value goes down, your taxes can go up. Conversely, if taxing districts decrease spending, your taxes may decrease even if your assessment goes up.

For example, suppose the Taxing Districts decide they need to raise $1 million in property taxes and the Assessed Value of all the property in your community totals $100 million. The property tax rate is calculated by dividing the amount of tax to be raised by the total Assessed Value:
$1 million/$100 million = 1%

In this scenario, if your property’s Assessed Value is $100,000, your tax bill would be calculated by multiplying your assessed value by your tax rate:
$100,000 x 1% = $1,000

If the amount requested by the Taxing Districts stays the same and the overall Assessed Value of your community stays the same, but your Assessed Value increased from $100,000 to $125,000, then your taxes would increase:
$125,000 x 1% = $1250

If the total Assessed Value of your community doubles from $100 million to $200 million but the amount of taxes to be raised stays the same, your tax rate would go down:
$1 million/$200 million = 0.5%

If your property’s Assessed Value increased from $100,000 to $200,000, even though your tax rate decreased, your taxes would stay the same because your Assessed Value increased:
$200,000 x 0.5% = $1,000

But if your tax rate increased to 2%, even if your Assessed Value decreased from $200,000 to $195,000, your taxes would go up:
$195,000 x 1.5% = $2,925



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Do foreclosures in my neighborhood affect my property taxes?

Foreclosures can cause the residential equalized assessed valuation to fall, leaving you to bear the tax burden of your bygone neighbors.



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Is there any tax relief available for homeowners?

Yes. There are several exemptions for which you may qualify. Owner-occupied residences may be eligible for a General Homestead Exemption, which reduces their equalized assessed value (EAV). Senior citizens may also be eligible for a Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption, which further reduces a property’s EAV. There is also a Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption, which freezes a property’s EAV at the base year value to prevent increases due to inflation (income restrictions apply). To learn more about these and other exemptions, including exemptions for veterans and the disabled, please call us or stop by our office.