First-time homebuyers are often filled with joy and relief at finally achieving a major part of the American dream. Unfortunately, owning a home also comes with its share of complications and difficulties, and one of these is dealing with property taxes. Illinois is notorious for having some of the most expensive property tax rates in the nation, although the exact rate depends on where you live and whether you have exemptions you qualify for. If you recently had your property taxes levied and you believe the amount is too, you may be able to appeal your taxes and pay less.
What Are Property Taxes Based On?
In theory, property taxes match the value of your house, so the amount of property taxes you pay will depend on where you live and how much your house is worth. Real estate often increases in value year over year, especially if the owner puts work into improving the house. Certain owners and organizations are exempt or have deductions from property taxes, so it is important to do some research to determine whether you fall into this category.
While the exact strategy of assessing property taxes varies by state and county, in Cook County, for example, an assessor determines the Fair Market Value of your home and then determines the assessed value, which is 10 percent of the fair market value. Then, the State Equalization Factor is applied to the assessed value to determine the Equalized Assessed Value and any exemptions are subtracted. The local tax rate is then applied to this number to determine the estimated tax bill.
How Can I Challenge My Tax Assessment?
In years when your property is reassessed or your county is open for challenges, you can challenge your property tax assessment by providing evidence that the assessor who valued your home got it wrong. Depending on where you live, you will usually need to submit your appeal online and wait for the county’s analysts to make a decision.
Understanding both how property taxes work and how to fill out the appeals process can be a major headache. Fortunately, you do not have to take care of this yourself. A local real estate attorney can help you do the necessary paperwork and, if appropriate, gather and present evidence that your home is worth less than the assessor valued it at.
Contact a DuPage County Property Tax Appeal Lawyer
The excitement of owning your own home can quickly become overshadowed by the frustration of paying enormous property taxes, especially if you feel they are levied unfairly. For help appealing your property taxes, call the local, friendly team of Cook County real estate attorneys at [[title]]. We live and work in the community and care about the outcome of our clients’ cases. Call [[phone]] today.