Winnebago County common real estate tax questions
WINNEBAGO COUNTY COMMON REAL ESTATE TAX QUESTIONS
Winnebago County Administration Building Offices
(Involved in Property Taxes)
404 Elm Street Room 301
Rockford, IL 61101
Or visit us at:
Supervisor of Assessments–(815) 319-4460 www.assessor.wincoil.us
Board of Review————–(815) 319-4463 www.bor.wincoil.us
County Clerk——————-(815) 319-4250
Room 103 or visit at www.winnebagocountyclerk.com
County Treasurer—————(815) 319-4400
Room 205 or visit at www.winnebagotreasurer.com
WINNEBAGO COUNTY TOWNSHIP ASSESSORS
BURRITT/ HARRISON ROCKFORD
Miss Theresa Hohlfelder Mr. Ken Crowley
5314 Eddy Rd. 401 West State St.
Winnebago, Il 61088 Rockford, Il 61101
(815) 965-4078 (815) 965-0300
CHERRY VALLEY ROCKTON
Mrs. Danielle Giacomazzo Ms. Dana Adams
4875 Blackhawk Rd 1315 N. Blackhawk
Rockford, IL 61109 Rockton, Il. 61073
(815) 874-2119 (815) 624-2597
DURAND/ LAONA ROSCOE
Mrs. Paula Cull Ms. Joann Hawes
115 Center St. 5792 Elevator Rd.
Durand, Il 61024 Roscoe, Il. 61073
(815) 248-3039 (815) 623-7323
Mr. Mark Sorrentino Miss Theresa Hohlfelder
819 Melbourne Ave 5314 Eddy Rd.
Rockford, Il 61111 Winnebago, Il. 61088
(815) 633-9380 (815) 965-4078
Mr. Trent Ferguson Mr. Doug Mitchell
6280 Owen Center 505 S. Goodling
Rockford, Il 61103 Winnebago, Il. 61088
(815) 965-3082 (815) 335-2706
Mr. Scott Whitney
410 Reed St. P.O. Box 429
Pecatonica, Il 61063
- WHY DOES MY TAX BILL CONTINUE TO INCREASE EACH YEAR?
Local government and schools’ increased spending may cause higher tax bills. An increase may also be due to reassessment of the value of your home by the Township Assessor which could increase your assessed valuation.
- WHO DETERMINES THE TAX RATE?
Local citizens can influence spending by making their views known to the proper officials. The assessor has no control over the tax rate. The tax rate is dependent upon local governmental and school levies, statutory limits and voter’s response to referendum issues.
- WHO CALCULATES THE TAX RATE?
The Tax Extension Department of the County Clerk’s Office computes the tax rate and figures the extension of taxes.
- WHO CAN I CONTACT TO OBTAIN AN EXPLANATION OF THE ASSESSED VALUATION OF PROPERTY?
If you have general assessment questions, the Supervisor of Assessments Office can explain the assessment process and how it relates to your property’s market value. However, your township assessor has the specific information about your property and others in your township and can better explain how and why he/she arrived at an assessed value.
- WHY DID MY ASSESSED VALUE CHANGE?
Your township assessor may have revalued your property or, as required by law, an equalization factor applied by the Supervisor of Assessments has adjusted the level of assessments in each township to 33 1/3%.
6. WHY IS MY HOME ASSESSED MORE THAN MY NEIGHBOR’S EVEN THOUGH WE BOTH HAVE THE SAME SQUARE FOOTAGE?
The assessed value relates directly to the market value of the property. Even though both homes are the same size, factors like construction quality, construction material, age, condition, central air conditioning, fireplaces, etc., affect the market value. Therefore, the assessed value is affected. Any specific questions should be directed to your township assessor.
7. WHAT IS AN ASSESSMENT CHANGE NOTICE?
A. Notice of Real Estate Assessment is a form mailed to property owners every time the assessed value of his/her property has been changed by the Township Assessor. It states what the new assessed value of his/her property is and in which newspaper all the changes by the assessor within a township may be found. The notice is not a tax bill and it does not state the amount of tax to be paid. If the property owner believes his assessed value is incorrect he should first contact his assessor. If still dissatisfied, complaint procedures are available through the Board of Review and must be completed prior to September 10 (or assigned deadline) of the assessment year.
B. 2011 (and every four years before and after) is a General Assessment Year (formerly called a Quadrennial). Every property must be viewed by the Township Assessor and, if necessary, revalued. In a General Assessment Year, every taxpayer receives a notice of the assessed value and every parcel of real estate is published in a local newspaper with the P.I.N. the name of the taxpayer, and the total assessment. This notification is made whether there is an assessment change or not. In intervening years publication and notices are required only for the parcels changed by the Township Assessor.
8. WHAT IS THE OWNER OCCUPIED EXEMPTION?
A. This is an exemption for individuals who own and occupy their property as their principal dwelling place on January 1st. It will remain with the homeowner until there is a change in use or a transfer of ownership at which time the new owner must reapply for the following year. It reduces the equalized assessed value by up to $6,000 of the increase of the current year equalized assessed value above the 1977 equalized assessed value.
B. To obtain this exemption, you must file an application with the Supervisor of Assessments or Board of Review Office or your township assessor.
- WHAT IS THE SENIOR CITIZEN EXEMPTION?
A. This exemption is for those individuals who are, or will be, 65 years of age or older during the year and who own and occupy their property. It reduces the equalized assessed value by $4,000
B. To obtain this exemption, you must bring proof of age to the Supervisor of Assessments Office and file for the original application. Once you have this exemption, renewals are mailed annually from the Supervisor of Assessments Office in February.
- HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE RECEIVED CREDIT FOR THE SENIOR CITIZEN EXEMPTION AND/OR OWNER OCCUPIED EXEMPTION?
The reduction for these exemptions appears on the tax calculation formula portion of your tax bill. They are also noted on the Assessment Change Notice mailed by the Supervisor of Assessments Office. You may also check to see if you have an application on file by calling the Supervisor of Assessments Office 815-319-4460.
- WHAT IS THE SENIOR CITIZEN ASSESSMENT FREEZE?
A law passed late in 1994 allows for the equalized assessed value of property to be “frozen” at a previous year’s level. Requirements include a household income of $55,000 or less, the applicant must be 65 years old (or older) and have owned and occupied the property since January 1st of the year prior to application. Annual application for the assessment freeze must be made before July 1st. Questions should be addressed to the Supervisor of Assessments Office.
- HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE RECEIVED CREDIT FOR THE HOMESTEAD IMPROVEMENT EXEMPTION OR THE SENIOR CITIZEN ASSESSMENT FREEZE?
They appear on the tax calculation formula portion of your tax bill.
14. WHAT IS THE TAX DEFERRAL FOR SENIOR CITIZENS?
This program is entirely separate from the homestead exemptions administered through the Supervisor of Assessments and Board of Review Office. This program enables senior citizens with a limited income below $50,000 to defer the payment of property taxes until after their death or sale of the property. Questions should be addressed to the Treasurer’s Office 815-319-4400.
15. WHAT ABOUT THE STATE GRANT? (CIRCUIT BREAKER)
The State Grant is handled by the Illinois Department of Revenue. It offers real estate tax relief for those over 65 or disabled with limited income. Any questions or concerns that you have relating to the State Grant should be directed to Lifescape Community Services (815) 963-1609 or any State Representative or State Senator’s Office.
16. WHAT IS THE TOWNSHIP EQUALIZATION FACTOR?
It is a factor applied by the Supervisor of Assessments or the Board of Review to equalize all townships within Winnebago County to 33 1/3% of market value.
17. WHAT IS THE COUNTY MULTIPLIER?
It is a factor applied by the Department of Revenue to equalize all counties within the state to 33 1/3% of market value.
18. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FILING AN ASSESSMENT COMPLAINT AND FILING A TAX OBJECTION?
A. An assessment complaint must be filed on the current year’s assessment (payable the following year) through the Board of Review. It pertains to the accuracy of the property’s assessed value. An assessment complaint must be filed on or before September 10th, or within thirty (30) days after the Supervisor of Assessment’s publication of the Township Assessor changes, whichever is later. Board of Review complaint forms and procedures are available from the Board of Review Office or on the Board of Review website at bor.wincoil.us
B. A tax objection is a legal action. This affects the current tax bill. It is the individual’s responsibility to follow this action by law. The tax objection is voided if not pursued in the Circuit Court. Further tax objection information may be obtained from the County Treasurer.
- WHOM DO I CONTACT IF I DO NOT RECEIVE MY TAX BILL?
Contact the County Treasurer’s Office 815-319-4400 between 8:00a.m and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
20. HOW CAN I DETERMINE WHO PAID THE TAXES AND WHEN?
Contact the County Treasurer’s Office approximately three (3) weeks following each due date.
21. WHEN I WISH TO FIND OUT THE AMOUNT OF TAXES PAID, WHOM DO I CALL?
First obtain either the location of property or P.I.N. then contact the County Treasurer’s Office.
23. WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY A TAX BILL FOR A FULL YEAR WHEN I ONLY OWNED THE PROPERTY FOR A FEW MONTHS?
We tax property, not individuals. All taxes are due for the full calendar year. Any prorating done for the length of ownership of property is between the buyer and seller.
24. WHY DO I GET MY TAX BILL WHEN MY MORTGAGE COMPANY OR CONTRACT HOLDER PAYS MY TAXES?
Because the property owner should be aware of the amount of taxes due and other valuable information printed on the tax bill, state law requires that you get copies of all such information pertaining to your property. If you are not receiving a copy of your tax bill, there may be other important assessment changes, exemption renewals, or equalization information you are not receiving. Contact your mortgage company or contract seller regarding this situation.
- HOW CAN I COMBINE MORE THAN ONE PROPERTY SO THAT I RECEIVE ONLY ONE TAX BILL?
For further information, contact the Supervisor of Assessments office 815-319-4477.
26.IF I PURCHASE A PART OF SOMEONE ELSE’S PROPERTY OR A LOT IN A BRAND NEW SUBDIVISION, WHY DON’T I GET MY OWN TAX BILL THE NEXT YEAR?
The legal description of all property is established based on its January 1st status. When a parcel is split or subdivided it retains the January 1st ownership and parcel I.D. information until the following year. Therefore, the tax bill for the year of the split (payable the following year) will be sent to the original owner. The legal descriptions, ownership information and parcel I.D. numbers are not created for the separate parcels until the year after it is divided.
27. WHAT IS AN INSTANT (PRORATED) ASSESSMENT?
To quote the statutes, Owners of property shall be liable, on a proportionate basis, for the increased taxes occasioned by the construction of new or added buildings, structures or other improvements on the property from the date when the improvement was substantially completed or initially used to December 31st of that year. This allows for the owner and occupant of new construction to pay taxes for the value of their property for the part of the year that it was complete and occupied. The Supervisor of Assessments Office can answer any further questions on this subject.
28. WHAT IS THE PROPERTY EXTENSION LIMITATION LAW (PTELL), COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS TAX CAPS ?
The phrase tax caps can be misleading because the PTELL does not cap either individual property tax bills or individual property assessments. Instead, the PTELL allows a taxing district to receive a limited inflationary increase in tax extensions on existing property, plus an additional amount for new construction, and voter-approved rate increases. The limit slows the growth of property tax revenues to taxing districts when property values and assessments are increasing faster than the rate of inflation. As a whole, property owners have some protection from tax bills that increase only because the market value of their property is rising rapidly. For further information, contact the County Clerk 815-319-4250.
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