Lake County Residential Property Tax Appeals
If you are a Lake County, Illinois homeowner, you have undoubtedly been upset by the continued increase in your real estate taxes. Lake County real estate taxes are some of the highest in the nation, and the continual increase in taxes risks pricing homeowners out of the market. Every year, the Lake County Tax Assessor for your taxing township assesses the value of your home. This value is then the basis for which the property tax is calculated.
When the township assessor has assessed the properties within the township, the assessor mails out assessment notices, typically on a blue or purple postcard, to each homeowner within the township. It is critical that if you wish to appeal your tax assessment, that you recognize this notice, and review it for the tax appeal filing deadline (30 days from the date of the notice). But what happens if you do not receive the notice in the mail, because it becomes lost or misplaced? In such an instance it is necessary to keep track of your township’s assessment deadline through the Lake County Assessor’s website, which keeps a list of township deadlines for filing an appeal. The information contained on the assessment notice can be retrieved online, so an appeal is still possible.
How Do I Appeal My Real Estate Taxes?
If you are interested in appealing your Lake County property taxes, you have two options: 1) hire an attorney, or 2) file the appeal on your own. Keep in mind that while other professionals (accountants, real estate brokers, appraisers) may be able to provide you information, they are not permitted to represent you for a property tax appeal, as this is considered the unauthorized practice of law (UPL) and is a crime.
It is common for attorneys, including our firm, to charge a nominal upfront fee, and then for a contingency fee to be paid upon successful appeal of the taxes. Typically this is represented as a portion of the savings experienced in the first year by the homeowner, if any.
If you intend to appeal on your own, you will need to make an account on Lake County’s E-File Tylerhost, and to file an appeal through that platform. Depending on the basis for your appeal, you will have to upload evidence to the portal and to research comparable properties through the portal for some townships, or by utilizing a separate database for other townships. Needless to say, it is not an easy process, and as such, we always recommend having experienced real estate tax attorneys represent you in the property tax appeal, such as the Lake County property tax appeal attorneys of Johnston Tomei Lenczycki & Goldberg LLC.
What Are the Basis of Appeal?
When we represent homeowners in a property tax appeal, we look and various different basis for the appeal, including, but not limited to:
- Recent Sales Comparables. Are similar properties in your neighborhood selling for less than the assessed value of your home? That is a great basis of appeal. Keep in mind the appeal board will usually only consider the prior two years’ sales. Anything older is deemed too old to be a comparable.
- Equity of Assessment. Are similar properties in your neighborhood being taxed at a lower rate per above ground living area? Tax assessors utilize a mathematical model whereby all properties should be within an acceptable range of rates. However, once in awhile a property falls outside of the acceptable range and the board may agree to lower the tax rate.
- Wrong Property Characteristics. Does the information the tax assessor have on file for your property inaccurate? If the information makes your property look better than it actually is, it is worthwhile to point out. Doing so can save some money depending on how wrong the information is.
- Recent Purchase of Home. Did you recently purchase the home, and if so, was the purchase price less than the assessed value? If so, the board will consider such evidence.
Call a Lake County Property Tax Attorney at JTLG LLC Now to Discuss Your Property Tax Appeal
If you are interested in appealing your property taxes this year, speak with our experienced Lake County property tax appeal attorneys at JTLG LLC today. Now is the time to make sure your property tax payment are as low as possible. For more information, call us at 847-549-0600.