Approximately 150 people learned how to file an assessment appeal on their property taxes at a free property tax appeal seminar held July 28 at the Collinsville Memorial Library.
The seminar was co-hosted by State Rep. Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) and the Madison County Board of Review.
“The room was packed. We had to put out additional chairs,” Kay told the Madison County Record.
Property owners have 30 days to file an appeal from the date of when the notice of the new tax bill appears in the local newspaper.
Kay said not all of Madison County’s assessments are done in one year, but are done in segments by township. He said the meeting was designed to let people know the protocol for filing an appeal of their tax assessment.
“We went down and gave them line by line what they needed to do to protest their assessment,” Kay said.
Homeowners wanting to file an appeal must follow seven steps, according to the Madison County Board of Review. First, the homeowner needs to determine the fair market value of their property, then determine the prevailing level of assessment in one’s jurisdiction.
Next, the homeowner must obtain the assessed value of the property, then discuss and review it with the local assessing official. Then, the homeowner must determine the basis of the appeal, be it market value or equity. Next, the homeowner must file a written complaint with the board of review using the prescribed forms along with evidence of unfair assessment.
Finally, if the appeal at the county level is unsuccessful, the decision may be appealed to the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board.
“We instructed them on if they need to do an assessment and if they were going to have to take it to the state board or review,” Kay said.
According to the Madison County Board of Review, there are three reasons why a homeowner can file an appeal.
The first reason is if the market value estimated by the assessor is higher than the actual market value. The second is if the assessed value is at a higher percentage of fair cash value than comparable properties in the same class or jurisdiction. The third reason for filing an appeal is if the assessment is based on incorrect information, such as the wrong legal description or acreage, or incorrect data was used in calculating the assessment.
Homeowners wishing to file an appeal have to provide supporting evidence that can include a copy of the real estate transfer declaration, deed or closing statement, a recent appraisal, a list of recent sales of comparable properties, photographs of anything that may contribute to a loss in value like deterioration, or a list and photos with property report cards showing their assessed values of comparable properties assessed less than the subject property.
“The bottom line is what we tried to do was give everyone a basic understanding of the seven steps,” Kay said.
Kay said attendees left with a packet of all the information they would need in order to file an appeal.
“No stone was left unturned,” Kay said.