The Process of Appeal

Thomas O'Neill III, Peoria County Board

Property tax is the largest single tax in Illinois, and the primary funding source for taxing bodies in Peoria County. Public schools, libraries, airport districts and units of local government receive money from property taxes. Peoria County uses its portion of property taxes—on average, about 10 percent—to pay for services such as public safety, elections, land use planning, health services and much more.

Property taxes are calculated using a property's assessed value, an amount equal to one third of the property's fair market value as determined by buyers and sellers. Sales from the previous three years are analyzed to establish the most probable selling price for a specific property in a given area. Township assessors are responsible for valuing properties in their respective townships. The township is mandated by the State of Illinois to have an overall assessed value of 33.33 percent.

Peoria County recognizes that some property owners may be dissatisfied with their assessed property value, and we recommend that they discuss their concerns with their township assessor before contacting the Supervisor of Assessments Office. The assessor may be able to resolve a discrepancy without the need for a formal appeal.

If the issue is not resolved at the township level, however, the property owner may file a formal complaint with Peoria County's Board of Review (BOR). The deadline to file a complaint is September 10, 2010. The process for filing a complaint and required forms can be found at peoriacounty.org, under the Supervisor of Assessments Office.

It is recommended that a petitioner seeking to lower his or her assessed value through the appeals process familiarize him/herself with the rules governing a Board of Review hearing before filing a complaint. Once the appropriate paperwork is completed and filed, a hearing will be scheduled with the BOR.

The Board of Review is charged with ensuring all property in the county is assessed at one third of its market value. It is important to understand that appealing an assessed value by filing a complaint is not a protest against a current tax bill. The BOR cannot estimate property taxes for the subsequent year based on a decision to change an assessed value, nor can a refund be granted on a current tax bill. The Board of Review's decision affects the current assessed valuation for the property tax to be rendered next year.

The Peoria County Supervisor of Assessments Office recently posted assessed values; therefore, now is the time for property owners who disagree with their assessment to meet with their township assessor and discuss their property characteristics. If a satisfactory conclusion is not met, the property owner may elect to file a complaint with the Board of Review; property owners must do so by September 10, 2010. If the petitioner is dissatisfied with the Board of Review's decision, he/she can then file a complaint with the State of Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board. iBi  

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