Welcome To The Ela Township
Assessor’s Office Home Page
John Barrington, CIAO
Residents of Ela Township who received structural damage other than their basements due to flooding are asked to contact our office to determine if they are eligible for a disaster relief reassessment. Homeowners can schedule a review of their property and possibly receive a one year reduction in the building assessed value.
Call 847-438-8370 and a deputy assessor will help walk you thru the process and schedule an inspection of your property.
What is an Assessment?
An assessment involves identifying the real property within a jurisdiction, listing it, appraising it and placing a value for it on the tax rolls. This value is known as the assessment and is the basis for determining what portion of the total tax burden each property owner will bear. In Illinois, the statutory assessment level is normally one-third of the market value of a property. At your Assessor’s Office we are currently busy reviewing the 2014 assessments. This year we will be looking at the 2011-2013 sales. This is a great time to verify the information we have on your property. You can stop by our office or visit the Lake County website at: http://assessor.lakecountyil.gov/Pages/default.aspx
You are likely to see township staff in your neighborhood reviewing properties. We are checking property characteristics of individual parcels, along with understanding the unique details of each area of the township.
Tax Bills are mailed in May.
Due dates: June 2014 and September 2014.
All bill information will be available on-line at: http://www.lakecountyil.gov/Treasurer/Payments/Pages/CurrentPaymentStatus.aspx
Various payment options are available, including payments by mail, at most Lake County Banks, on-line by E-Check or credit card. Please note: There will be a credit card convenience fee added to your payment by the processing company. http://www.lakecountyil.gov/Treasurer/payments/Pages/OnlinePayments.aspx As a courtesy to lake county taxpayers, partial payments will be accepted for current years taxes with the understanding that an additional 1½ % penalty will be added to any unpaid portion made after the set due dates. http://www.lakecountyil.gov/Treasurer/Payments/Pages/LatePaymentPenalty.aspx
If the majority of the assessments are decreasing, can we expect the same on our tax bill?
The short answer is probably not. The Assessments are going down because of the decline in the real estate market, but generally tax bills will not follow suit.
Local taxing bodies depend on property tax revenues to provide local services. Every year they submit a request for property tax funds, known as the “levy”. The combined “levies” actually create the tax burden, while assessments simply divide up that tax burden in an equitable way. So, if the “levy” requests do not decrease, most of us will see no relief in our tax bills. In fact, if levies go up because of increased spending, tax bill can actually go up, even with assessments going down. While we are all fortunate to live in an area with great schools, libraries, and other public services, they all come at a cost.
|Ela Township residents pay only 2% of their total tax bill to Ela Township. A person who pays an $8000 tax bill will only pay $175 to Ela Township. This $175 provides property assessments for over 17,000 parcels, maintenance of township roads, parks & cemeteries, assistance to the needy, a social worker for all residents, as well as programs for our youth and seniors.|
Follow the Money!
This can be a tense time for taxpayers if you feel your bill is too high. We encourage you to verify property taxes you pay in this calendar year. As always, my office is ready to help in any way we can. We encourage you to verify factual information our office has about your property. If errors do exist, then we may be able to adjust your bill in hand, which can affect the amount of taxes you pay in this calendar year. You can verify information at: http://assessor.lakecountyil.gov/Pages/default.aspx or by stopping by our office. You may want to verify the drawing we have on your home. If you have an open foyer and/or living room, volume area would dictate that your home be categorized as a one-story dwelling in those areas, so let us know if we have that area listed as a full two-story. You may also verify the bathroom and fireplace count. You may have also removed a deck, patio or shed in the past. If you only have a partial basement, you should ensure it isn’t listed as full. These are just a few examples of information that can affect the assessed value of your home. We are able to make corrections to the tax bill you just received for certain factual errors but the window of opportunity is brief. Please feel free to call 847-438-8370 or stop by and we would be happy to go over the information with you to ensure all the facts regarding your property are correct.
Lake County Board of Review Approves Change in Rules to Address Unauthorized Practice of Law
The Lake County Board of Review recently approved a change in its rules that will allow homeowners to either represent themselves or be represented by an Illinois licensed attorney. This ruling also affects many properties owned by a corporation, LLC, etc. so please review the changes carefully and contact our office with any changes.
What if I miss the Deadline to file an appeal and feel my property is over assessed?
If you do miss the deadline to file an appeal, the next appeal cycle is always just around the corner. Our office may still be able to adjust for missed exemptions or factual errors though so please reach out to us to find out how we can help. If you are considering filing an appeal next year though, our office can show you how to do this yourself. Within the first week of receiving your assessment notice, we encourage you to contact our office. After going over your information, we will either give a response with an offer of a reduction, or if there is no reduction, we will explain why. There are a couple of different ways to appeal your assessment. If you choose to file a formal appeal with the lake County Board of Review they will forward a copy of your evidence to our office for review and schedule your appeal for hearing in Waukegan. Our office will review the evidence and submit additional information when necessary. We may be able to make a recommendation to the board on your behalf prior to your hearing. If you have a hearing, the board will make a decision based upon all of the evidence and testimony provided. Because of the additional work required on your part for the formal appeal, we recommend that you contact our office during the filing period and allow us to review your property and help guide you through the process. Remember we are here to help you.
Unqualified exemptions can cause higher tax bills for the rest of us!
Our office reviews exemptions throughout the year to help ensure only owner occupied homes receive exemptions. We also removed exemptions of bank or government owned foreclosures. Exemptions reduce the value of a property and can provide property owners with some tax relief. However, if the homeowner is not living in the property as their primary residence, they are not entitled to exemptions and should not receive the benefit of reduction because they are already receiving this exemption somewhere else. Unqualified exemptions can cause higher tax bills for the rest of us and will continue to be monitored on a regular basis.
Are you getting all of the property tax relief to which you are entitled?
Illinois law provides homeowners with certain homestead exemptions–if you are the owner of record and live in the home as a primary residence. Using these exemptions will lower the amount of property tax you owe. Our office is able to assist you with the filing of your exemptions. For more information and eligibility requirements please visit: http://assessor.lakecountyil.gov/Property-Tax-Relief/Pages/default.aspx
- Homestead Limited Exemption. This exemption currently lowers the equalized value of the property by $6,000. An owner of record who lives in the home as a primary residence is entitled to this exemption. Look for it on your tax bill.
- Senior Homestead Exemptions. If you turned 65 at any time during the tax year, the equalized value of your home will be lowered by $5,000. You must notify the Ela Township Assessor’s Office to initiate this exemption.
- Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption-Annual Renewal Required. If you are 65, qualified for the (above) Senior Homestead Exemption, AND have a total household income of $55,000 or less, the assessed value on your property is frozen. Please note that this does NOT affect the tax RATE. Contact the Ela Township Assessor’s Office to initiate this exemption.
- Homestead Improvement Exemption. If an improvement or addition is made to the home, the assessment increase due to the alteration is kept off the tax rolls for four years. There is a maximum of $25,000 of assessed value which can be kept off the tax rolls for that period.
- Disabled and Veterans Exemptions. There are various exemptions available for Veterans, Veterans who are returning from active duty in an armed conflict, and disabled persons. Our office or the Chief County Assessment Officer can assist with the filings of these exemptions.
- Returning Veterans’ Homestead Exemption. Lowers the equalized assessed value of your property by $5000 in the year you return from active duty in an armed conflict. It is a one-year exemption.
*When you are applying for a new exemption and the property is held in trust, we must verify that the applicant is a beneficiary of that trust. The exemptions cannot be applied without this verification. Please include a copy of that part of the actual trust agreement which states that the applicant is a beneficiary. This can usually be found on the first few pages of the trust document. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly at 847-438-8370.
My staff and I are committed to serving the people of Ela Township fairly and equitably. We want you to know that customer service is our top priority. Some of the services that our office can provide or help you with are:
- Assist in filing the Senior Homestead Exemption
- Lake County Residents who receive the Senior Homestead Exemption DO NOT need to reapply each year
- Assist in filing the Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze
- This Exemption MUST be applied for each year
- Homeowner’s Exemption
- Disabled Person’s/Disabled Veterans Exemption
- Home Improvement Exemption
- Provide information requested for Assessment Appeals
- Adjust assessments due to factual errors
- Address Change http://www.lakecountyil.gov/Treasurer/Documents/NameAddressChange.pdf
- Names and address supplied for properties applying for Variances
- Free Notary Service