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Assessor

General Homestead Exemption

This exemption is administered and applied by your local Township Assessor. If you are not receiving this exemption, please contact us.

Homestead property is entitled to an annual homestead exemption. “Homestead property” under this Section includes residential property that is occupied by its owner or owners as his or their principal dwelling place, or that is a leasehold interest on which a single family residence by a person who has ownership interest therein or as a lessee, and on which the person is liable for the payment of property taxes. Where married person maintain and reside in separate residences qualifying as homestead property, each residence shall

receive 50% of the total reduction in equalized assessed valuation provided by this Section. In counties with fewer than 3,000,000 inhabitants, in the event of a sale of homestead property the homestead property the homestead exemption shall remain in effect for the remainder of the assessment year of the sale. The assessor or chief county assessment officer may require the new owner of the property to apply for the homestead exemption for the following assessment year. The maximum reduction shall be $5,000 in counties with less than 3,000,000 inhabitants for 2007, $5,500 for 2008, and $6,000 for 2009 and thereafter.

Homestead Improvement Exemption

If you qualify for this exemption, your local Assessor files the appropriate paperwork with our office.

The Homestead Improvement Exemption is an exemption allowed for new improvements to existing structures on homestead property or the rebuilding of residential structures following a catastrophic event. The exemption is limited to a maximum of $75,000 per year in fair cash value and continues for four years from the date the improvement or rebuilding is completed and occupied, not the date you file this application.

You may have more than one homestead improvement exemption on the same property. However, you cannot receive a homestead improvement exemption for any other property in Illinois for the same assessment year and the total exemption cannot be more than $75,000 per year. Any repair work performed to prolong or maintain the condition of an existing structure does not qualify for this exemption.

Contact your local Township Assessor for more details and any questions you may have.

Senior Homestead Exemption

An annual homestead exemption is granted for property that is occupied as a residence by a person 65 years of age or older who is liable for paying real estate taxes on the property and is an owner of record of the property or has a legal or equitable interest therein as evidence by a written instrument, except for a leasehold interest, other than a leasehold interest of land which a single family residence is located which is occupied as a residence by a person 65 years or older, who has an ownership interest therein, legal, equitable or as a lessee, and or which he or she is liable for the payment of property taxes.

When a homestead exemption has been granted under this Section and the person qualifying subsequently becomes a resident of a facility licensed under the Nursing Home Care Act, the exemption shall continue so long as the residence continues to be occupied by the qualifying person’s spouse if the spouse is 65 years of age or older, or if the residence remains unoccupied but is still owned by the person qualified for the homestead exemption.

A person who will be 65 years of age during the current assessment year shall be eligible to apply for the homestead exemption during that assessment year. Application shall be made during the application period in effect for the county of his residence.

The maximum reduction shall be $3,500 in counties with less than 3,000,000 inhabitants for 2007, $4,000 for 2008 and thereafter.

To file for a Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption you will need:

1. Copy of your recorded deed.

2. Copy of Birth Certificate, Illinois Drivers License, or Illinois ID

3. Copy of current Tax Bill or P.I.N. (property index number)

You may request an application from the Supervisor of Assessments website or our office. If the application is returned in the mail, the application must be notarized and the information requested above must accompany the application.

Click here for the application

 http://www.willcountysoa.com/content/forms/wc-324-and-pamphlet.pdf

Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Exemptions

This exemption freezes the assessment on your property if your total household income is $65,000 or less. This exemption may be claimed in addition to those described above. This exemption does not freeze your tax rate; you need to understand that the actual taxes which you pay may continue to increase based upon the amounts levied by the taxing bodies where you reside (school, park, village or city, township, etc). The filing deadlines for this exemption is July 1 of each year.

To receive this exemption you must:

•Have fulfilled a property residency requirement as explained on the application form.

•Be age 65 or older.

•Have a maximum household income of $65,000. This household income includes that of all persons using the property as their principal dwelling place on January 1 of the tax year.Please note that this exemption is income based and therefore, must be renewed annually. The Supervisor of Assessments for the County mails applications to all taxpayers receiving the Senior Homestead Exemption.

Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Program

Available to qualified seniors 65 or over with a total household income of $55,000 or less, who have lived in the property for at least three years and have no delinquent property taxes or assessments due on the property. Deferred taxes are paid by the state with repayment, plus interest, due upon settlement of estate or sale of the property. Applicants can obtain forms by contacting:

Will County Treasurer’s Office

302 North Chicago Street

Joliet, IL 60432

(815) 740-4675

Click here for the application

 http://www.willcountysoa.com/Content/Forms/PTAX-340.pdf

**This is strictly for the year of 2017. Applications for the year of 2018 will be available after April 1st.

Disabled Persons' Homestead Exemption

An annual $2,000 reduction in the EAV of the property. The property must have been occupied on January 1 of the assessment year by a disabled person who is liable for the payment of property taxes.

Qualify if disabled or become disabled during the assessment year.

Disabled person cannot participate in any “substantial gainful activity by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment” which will result in the person’s death or that will last for at least 12 continuous months.

Click here for the application

http://www.willcountysoa.com/content/forms/wc-ptax-343.pdf

Disabled Veterans' Standard Homestead Exemption

Property can receive only one of the disability exemptions per assessment year under Section 15-165 Disabled Veterans’ Homestead Exemption, Section 15-168 Disabled Persons’ Homestead Exemption, or Section 15-169 Disabled Veterans’ Standard Homestead Exemption.

The SHEVD (35 ILCS 200/15-169) provides an annual reduction in the equalized assessed value (EAV) of a primary residence occupied by a veteran with a disability, or the veteran’s surviving spouse, on January 1 of the assessment year. The SHEVD amount depends on the percentage of the service-connected disability as certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs. If the veteran has a service-connected disability of 30% or more but less than 50%, then the annual exemption is $2,500; if the veteran has a service-connected disability of 50% or more but less than 70%, then the annual exemption is $5,000; and if the veteran has a service-connected disability of 70% or more, then the residential property is exempt from taxation under this Code.

Note: The property’s total EAV must be less than $250,000 after subtracting any portion used for commercial purposes. “Commercial purposes” include any portion of the property rented for more than 6 months. If you previously received the SHEVD and now reside in a facility licensed under the Nursing Home Care Act or operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs, you are still eligible to receive the SHEVD provided your property is occupied by your spouse; or remains unoccupied during the assessment year.

Who is eligible?

To qualify for the SHEVD, the veteran must

• be an Illinois resident who served as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty or state active duty, Illinois National Guard, or U.S. Reserve  Forces, and who has an honorable discharge;

• have at least a 30 percent service-connected disability certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs; and
• own and occupy the property as the primary residence on January 1 of the assessment year or lease and occupy a single family residence on January 1 of the assessment year and be liable for the payment of the property taxes to the county.

Click here for the application  http://www.willcountysoa.com/Content/Forms/PTAX-342.pdf

Returning Veteran Homestead Exemption

A one-time $5,000 in EAV of the veteran’s principal residence for the taxable year that the veteran returns from active duty in an armed conflict involving the United States. This means the exemption is only for a single year, but the veteran can receive the exemption again if they return from active duty in a subsequent year.

The veteran flies form PTAX-341 each assessment year when they return home to receive the exemption.

NOTE: A disabled persons or disabled veteran’s property can receive only one of the following exemptions each year: Disabled Veterans’ Exemption (35 ILCCCS 200/15-165), Disabled Persons’ Homestead Exemption (35 ILCS 200/15-168) or the Disabled Veterans’ Standard Homestead Exemption (35 ILCS 200/15-169).

Click here for the application

http://www.willcountysoa.com/content/forms/wc-ptax-341.pdf

The Assessors Responsibilities

The township Assessor is charged with the task to uniformly assess properties at a median level of 33 1/3% (one third) of market value. Equitable assessments ensure a fair distribution of the property tax burden among all property owners. Local property taxes pay for such services as schools, villages, libraries, park districts, and fire protection districts. The Assessor has no control over the levies of taxing bodies or the tax rate.

Local Tax Rate is determined by the combined spending of all taxing districts, including the county, the forest preserve district, townships, community colleges, schools, villages, fire districts, libraries, parks, etc. Each government prepares a budget, requests the revenues needed, and submits the request to the county clerk. The county clerk calculates the tax rate based on their requests. The local tax rate is then applied against all property assessments in the district to produce the Property Tax Amount for each property.

Property taxes are determined by the budgets of your local taxing bodies. These local taxing bodies use property tax revenues to pay for the services rendered to the residents in their district. Tax bills are paid in 2 installments and are due June 1st and September 1st of every year.

Property Exemptions

Exemptions are a form of partial property tax relief. Each exemption type is designed to provide tax relief for a specific class of property owners. Eligibility requirements vary for each type of exemption. The amount of tax relief may also vary with each exemption type and property. A property owner may be eligible for more than one exemption type.

We are Here to Help

As always, should you have any questions regarding exemptions, or any other assessment questions please feel free to contact our office. We are here to help. You may also visit the Supervisor of Assessments website www.willcountysoa.comfor forms and property info.

What is market value?

Finding the market value of your property involves discovering the most likely price that unrelated individuals both acting with full knowledge of the facts and in their best interest would pay for it in its present condition. This is what is known as an ‘arm’s length transaction’. Finding this number is not always easy, however, because of the limited number of actual sales that occur each year and because the assessor has to find out what this value would be for every property, sold or not sold and no matter how big or small. It is exactly this ability to estimate value that is one of the strengths of the property tax system. But the assessor’s job doesn’t stop there. Each year the process has to be repeated all over again, because the market value of almost everything is constantly changing one year to the next.

Why have property taxes?

The theory behind utilizing a system of Property Tax is that those members of the community who have the advantages of good schools, fire and police protection, and other public benefits can absorb their fair share of the cost. This share is in direct proportion to the amount of money our individual properties are worth. This is known as the concept of “Ad Valorem’ or according to value.

The property tax is part of a well-balanced revenue system. It is a more stable source of money than sales and income taxes because it does not fluctuate when communities have recessions. When the community spends tax dollars on better schools, parks, and so on, your property values rise. Some of the windfall benefits you receive are recaptured by the property tax.

Why do assessed values change from year to year?

When market value changes, naturally so does the assessed value. For instance, if you were to add a garage to your home, the assessed value would increase.

However, if your property were in poor condition, the assessed value would decrease. The assessor does not create the value. People establish value by their transactions in the market place. The assessor simply has the legal responsibility to study those transactions, change the factual data, and appraise property accordingly.

What is the assessed value and the tax rate?

The assessor’s office has very little to do with the total amount of taxes collected. The assessor’s primary responsibility is to find the fair market value of your property, so that you may pay only your fair share of the taxes. The amount of taxes you pay is determined by a tax rate applied to your property’s assessed value. The tax rate is determined by all the taxing agencies such as city, county, school districts, etc. and also depends on what is needed to provide all the services you enjoy.

What else does the assessor do?

The assessor’s office also keeps track of ownership changes, maintains maps of parcel boundaries, keeps descriptions of building and property characteristics up to date, and keeps track of individuals and properties eligible for exemptions and other forms of property tax relief. Most importantly, the assessor analyzes trends in sales prices, construction costs, and rents, to estimate the value of all assessable property.

What are your rights and responsibilities?

In your opinion, if the value of your property differs from the assessor’s by all means go to the office and discuss the matter. Staff will be glad to answer your Questions about the appraisal and explain how to appeal if you cannot come to an agreement. The assessor’s office relies on the property owner for information. You can help by providing accurate information. If you feel taxes are too high, you should make your opinion known to the proper taxing authorities.

If after talking with your local assessor you still feel that your assessment is too high, you have the right to appeal. This right to appeal is part of the due process provided every property owner in Illinois and is a formal legal matter involving the property owner, the board of review and very often the Township Assessor.

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