Assessor’s Office - Terry Kelly, CIAO – Township Assessor
APPEAL NEWS and INFORMATION
The tentative date to file an appeal with the Cook County Assessor is May 24, 2013. To be notified when we are open for appeals send us an e-mail and we will add you to our contact list. Click here to send an e-mail to: Dulce Gamboa, Chief Deputy Assessor firstname.lastname@example.org
DATES TO REMEMBER IN 2013
March 1, 2013
- First installment due.
- Senior Citizen and Senior Freeze exemptions mailed Jan 2013. You must apply for each of these exemptions every year. You have to have a birth date of 1947 or before to qualify for these exemptions. The senior freeze is based on household income, which must be less than $55,000.
- Homeowner exemption applications mailed in Jan 2013. If you have owned and lived in your property on or before 1/1/2012 you may be eligible for this exemption. This exemption will renew automatically for taxpayers as long as the property has not been sold. Note that a title search, such as a quit claim deed, will stop the Homeowner Exemption from renewing automatically.
- Disabled Person applications mailed Feb/March 2013. If you owned and occupied your property as the principal place of residence on or before 1/1/2012 and were disabled or became disabled during 2012 you may qualify for this exemption. If you received this exemption last year, you will be receiving your renewal application in the mail.
- Disabled Veteran exemption mailed Feb/March 2013. If you owned and occupied your property as the principal place of residence on or before 1/1/2012 and have at least a 50% service-connected disability you may be eligible for this exemption. First time filers will need form DD214, provided by the Department of Defense.
- Returning Veteran exemption provides a one-time $5,000 reduction to the assessed value of the veteran's residence for the taxable year, and the following taxable year that the veteran returns from active duty. There are certain forms that need to be sent along with the application. Veterans who have recently returned from active duty are encouraged to call the Township Assessors Office for details.
- 2013 reassessment notices to be mailed. The new proposed assessment will be reflected on the 2013 second installment tax bill paid in 2014.
- There will be two opportunities to appeal the 2013 proposed assessment. (The reassessment notice will have the date of the first opportunity).
- Click here for 2013 reassessment information.
IMPORTANT NEWS . . . IMPORTANT NEWS
Property Values are going down...and Property Taxes are going up?!?
In spite of the decline in property values over the last few years, property taxes will not be falling for most taxpayers. This is due to increases in government spending, declines in the value of the homeowner and longtime occupant exemptions, and the 2010 reassessment of Palatine Township property values.
Can I do anything to reduce my current tax bill? If you are eligible for a homeowner, senior citizen or other exemption but did not receive one, our office can assist you in obtaining your exemption. If you have received all exemptions for which you are eligible, you likely will not be able to do anything about your current bill.
Can I do anything to reduce future tax bills? Later this year, the Cook County Board of Review will be accepting appeals from Palatine Township residents for next year's taxes. You can give us a call to add your email to our notification list.
Why aren't property taxes going down when property values are going down? The main reason property taxes are not falling is that the cost of providing government services is not falling. Property taxes provide most of the funding for public schools and other local services. Typically, the cost of providing these services increases every year by about the rate of inflation.
Is every tax bill going to increase by the inflation-level increase in spending? No. Some properties will face double digit increases in their property taxes this year, while other properties will see smaller tax increases or tax reductions. When all the tax increases and reductions are added together, however, the net increase will match the inflation-level increase in tax levies.
Whose taxes are going up and whose taxes are going down? Because of changes in the homeowner exemption explained below, it is difficult to make general statements about the tax changes for most homeowners. The following are some general observations:
Seniors receiving the Senior Freeze exemption pay more. The Senior Freeze exemption provides special tax breaks for senior citizens with annual household income of less that $55,000. But the well-intentioned Freeze program does not cope with a declining real estate market very well. This is reflected in the fact that most seniors who have been on the program for a number or years will experience significant tax increases this year. Tax increases for seniors joining the program more recently will vary.
One might expect that a program called the Senior Freeze would freeze the taxes of senior citizens, but this is not the case. The program instead freezes the equalized assessed value of a senior's property. When the frozen equalized assessed value is multiplied by a rising tax rate, the results is rising tax bills for Senior Freeze recipients.
The large tax increase for Senior Freeze recipients matches the large increases in the local tax rate. This higher tax rate insures that local government receives the revenue it needs to operate in the face of declining property values. But it will cause hardship for some seniors.
Residential properties with declining assessed values and minimal homeowner exemptions pay less. As explained below, most homeowners this year have smaller tax discounts under the homeowner exemption compared to last year. But residential property owners who are ineligible for a homeowners exemption, or who only received the minimum exemption last year, do not have to worry about declining homeowner discounts. Most such homeowners will see lower taxes this year.
Why is my tax discount for the homeowner or long time occupant exemption smaller than last year's discount? In 2004, the legislature implemented a complicated new tax exemption knowin as the 7% assessment cap. The basic premise of the program was that the equalized assessed values of owner-occupied homes should not rise by more that 7% per year. Any increase above 7% was supposed to be tax exempt.
At the time the assessment cap was adopted, assessed values were rising rapidly because of what we now recognize as a "bubble" in the housing market. While the bubble was growing, homeowner exemptions were also growing. This large exemption sought to protect homeowners from large tax increases during those years.
But the 7% assessment cap was not designed to address the changes in the housing market after the bubble burst. As a result, much of the value of the homeowner exemption that had accumulated since 2005 has been wiped out by declining home values.
All owner-occupied homes in Palatine Township are still eligible for a minimum homeowner exemption discount worth about $517.74, and some will receive exemptions worth more. But for most people, this year's tax discounts due to exemptions are smaller than last year's.
Conclusion. This year's property tax bills are confusing. First, the cost of providing local government services has increased, notwithstanding the decline in property values stemming from last year's reassessment. In addition, some of the programs that seek to protect homeowners from rising taxes were designed with a rising housing market in mind, and do not work very well with declining housing markets. The result is that homeowners who may have expected tax decreases will be paying more this year.
The Following Property Tax Exemptions are Available to Residential Property Owners
Check to see if you qualify for the exemptions listed below. You may contact the Palatine Township Assessor's Office, 847-358-6164 if you need further information or assistance. All forms are available online at www.cookcountyassessor.com .
The Homeowner Exemption is now automatically renewed for property owners who received it in the past. If you are not receiving your Homeowner Exemption, contact our office to fill out the proper application. You must mail the completed form back to the County Assessor or return to our office in order to receive your Homeowner Exemption. The Homeowner Exemption will reduce your EAV by $6,000 if you have resided at your property for the principal place of residence as of January 1 of the year in question. The Homeowner Exemption may also qualify you to receive the "Expanded Homeowner Exemption" (otherwise known as the 7% Cap) which can further reduce your EAV. The savings you receive in real dollars will be reflected on your second installment tax bill on the Homeowner Exemption line. Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to see an example of How To Determine Your Homeowners Exemption.
If you are 65 or older, you may apply for the Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption and reduce your EAV by $4,000 once approved.
If you qualify for the Senior Citizen Exemption and have a total household income of $55,000 or less in the year prior to the property tax year in question, you may qualify for the Senior Freeze Exemption. The Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Exemption allows qualified Senior Citizens to apply for a freeze of the equalized assessed value (EAV) of their property. This freezes the Equalized Assessed Value at the level prior to the taxable year for which the applicant first applies and qualifies or the current year whichever is lower. For example, a senior citizen who applies and qualifies for this exemption in the taxable year 2010 will have the EAV of the property frozen at the 2010 EAV or 2009 EAV whichever is lower.
Those receiving this exemption should be aware that this does not automatically freeze the amount of their tax bill. Only the EAV remains at the fixed amount. The amount of dollars that the taxing district asks for (levy) and the tax rate will continue to effect calculation of the bill.
Both Senior Exemptions must be renewed annually.
The Returning Veterans Homestead Exemption provides a 2-year $5,000 annual reduction in a property's equalized assessed value (EAV) to qualifying veterans who return from active duty in an armed conflict involving the armed forces of the United States. To receive this exemption, the veteran must file an application for the year in which they return and for the next year. Example, return in 2012, $5,000 reduction for tax year 2012 plus $5,00 reduction for tax year 2013. Please call with any question.
The Disabled Veterans' Homeowner Exemption provides an annual reduction in the equalized assessed value (EAV) on the primary residence occupied by a disabled veteran on January 1 of the assessment year. The amount of the exemption each year depends on the percentage of the disabled veteran's service-connected disability as certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs. A disabled veteran with at least a 75% service-connected disability will receive an annual $5,000 reduction in EAV. A veteran with a 50% to 74% service-connected disability will receive an annual $2,500 reduction in EAV. A disabled veteran must apply for this exemption each year.
The Disabled Person's Homestead Exemption provides a $2,000 reduction in a property's equalized assessed value (EAV) to a qualifying property owned by a disabled person. A disabled person must file an annual application by the county's due date to continue to receive this exemption.
The Home Improvement Exemption encourages the expansion or renovation of homes by delaying taxation on up to $75,000 worth of improvements for at least four years. You do not have to apply for a Home Improvement Exemption. It will be given automatically. You will be eligible for the exemption after you apply for a building permit to improve your home.
Click here for Frequently Asked Questions
www.cookcountyassessor.com This site provides information about the Cook County Assessor's office, which is responsible for assessing all property in Cook County. You can use this site to look up the assessment and characteristics of your property as well as the other 1.8 million parcels of property in the county. That information can be used as evidence in your assessment appeal at the County Assessor's Office, Board of Review and Property Tax Appeal Board. The county Assessor's site also contains information about property exemptions.
www.cookcountyboardofreview.com This site will tell you how to file an assessment appeal at the Board of Review.
www.cookcountytreasurer.com The Treasurer's web site allows you to check the status of your property tax bill payments as well as directing you where and how to pay your tax bill. Information is also available on refunds, services for senior exemptions and tax dates.
www.ccrd.info The Cook County Recorder of Deeds site can be used to look up information about property transactions, deeds and mortgages.
www.state.il.us/agency/ptab The state of Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB) site will provide information on how to file an assessment appeal at PTAB. ***ALERT*** Be advised that you may only file an appeal at PTAB if you have previously filed an appeal at the Cook County Board of Review for the tax year in question.
www.cookctyclerk.com Find information on redemption of delinquent property taxes that have been sold. Learn how to Clerk's office calculates tax rates based on tax levies. This site will also give you information on how to get legal descriptions of parcels and copies of tax maps.
How To Determine Your Homeowners Exemption
Assuming you have owned your home since 2004 or earlier, the calculation begins by determining the home's 2011 "Adjusted" Equalized Assessed Value (the same formula is used for future years). This involves a long series of math formulas. It begins with using the 2003 Assessed Value of the property as a base year. The final result is then compared to the actual 2011 Equalized Assessed Value.
For this example, we will assume the house has a 2003 assessed value of $25,000.
|Home 2003 assessed value||$25,000|
|Multiplied by the 2003 State Equalizer||x 2.4598|
|Equals the home's 2003 Equalized Assessed Value (EAV)||$61,495|
|Minus the 2003 Homeowners Exemption amount||-4,500|
|Gives the Base Year Value||$56,995|
To protect owners from large increases in assessed value a 7% per year rule was put into effect.
|2004 adjusted EAV (2003 increased by 7%) =||$60,985|
|2005 adjusted EAV (2004 increased by 7%) =||$65,254|
|2006 adjusted EAV (2005 increased by 7%) =||$69,821|
|2007 adjusted EAV (2006 increased by 7%) =||$74,709|
|2008 adjusted EAV (2007 increased by 7%) =||$79,938|
|2009 adjusted EAV (2008 increased by 7%) =||$85,534|
|2010 adjusted EAV (2009 increased by 7%) =||$91,521|
|2011 adjusted EAV (2010 increased by 7%) =||$97,928|
Now that the 2011 Adjusted EAV is known we compare it to the actual 2011 EAV. For this example we will say that the 2011 assessed value was $30,000.
|2011 Assessed Value of the home||$30,000|
|Multiplied by the 2011 State Equalizer||x 2.9706|
|2011 Equalized Assessed Value (EAV)||$89,118|
The Homeowners Exemption is the difference between the 2011 Adjusted EAV and the 2011 EAV multiplied by the tax rate. There is a maximum allowed of $16,000 and a minimum allowed of $6,000. For this example:
|2011 Equalized Assessed Value||$89,118|
|Minus 2011 Adjusted Equalized Assessed Value||$97,521|
The difference is a negative, so the taxpayer will receive the minimum amount of $6,000.
If the tax rate for this home is 8.629% then the Homeowners Exemption will be:
|Difference between 2011 EAV and 2011 Adjusted EAV||$6,000|
|Multiplied by the tax rate||0.08629|
|Dollar Amount of Homeowners Exemption On Tax Bill||$517.74|
If your home was bought after 2004, the same formula applies, just use the Assessed Value of the house from the year before you purchased it and follow the same formula.
Suburban Tax Officials Support Automatic Renewal of Senior Citizen Property Tax Exemptions
State law should be changed so that Cook County residents, who meet the age qualifications for the
Senior Citizen property tax exemption, do not have to reapply for the exemption each year. This policy change, advocated by the Cook County Township Assessors' Association, would reinstate a policy of automatically renewing the senior exemption, which was in effect between 2008 and 2010. A new state law now requires that all senior homeowners complete an application to renew their exemption each and every year.
The Senior Citizen Exemption provides a discount on property taxes for residential properties that are owned and occupied by a person who is sixty-five years or older. Unlike other senior tax exemptions, the Senior Citizen Exemption is available to all seniors, regardless of income.
The Cook County Township Assessors' Association supports a policy of automatic renewal of the Senior Citizen Exemption for the following reasons:
People get older, not younger. Once seniors prove that they have reached age sixty-five, they will remain eligible for the exemption for as long as they live in their homes.
Inevitably, some of the 300,000 senior homeowners in Cook County will not complete the renewal applications, and thus will not receive a tax break for which they are eligible.
Those who realize they are missing the Senior Citizen exemption will have to apply for refunds, and those refunds will be paid for by cash-strapped local governments.
Processing as many as 300,000 senior renewal applications adds to the workload of county and township governments at a time when governments are trying to be more efficient in their use of personnel and resources.
Automatic renewal of Senior Citizen exemptions does carry a risk (albeit small) that some will receive exemptions for which they are not eligible; this is the reason the legislature acted to eliminate automatic renewals last year. But policies have been implemented to limit such mistakes. For example, the Senior Citizen exemption is not automatically renewed after a property is sold. This means that a prior owner's senior exemption will not be passed on to a new buyer.
For the above reasons, Palatine Township Assessor Terry Kelly, along with the Cook County Township Assessors' Association, urges the State Legislature to reinstate the automatic renewal of the Senior Citizen Exemption.
Click here for Glossary of commonly used terms
Click here for Frequently Asked Questions