Assessor
Ela Township Assessor’s Office
1155 E. Route 22, Lake Zurich, IL
847-438-8370
jbarrington@elaassessor.org
Township Assessor:  John Barrington
Office Hours: Monday to Thursday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Friday 8:00 am to 1:00 pm

Property Search

Our Services

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 – must be applied for EVERY year
  • Exemptions:  
    • Homeowner’s
    • Disabled Person’s/Disabled Veterans
    • Home Improvement Exemption
  • Provide information requested for Assessment Appeals
  • Adjust assessments due to factual errors
  • Address Change (click here for form)
  • Names and address supplied for properties applying for Variances
  • Free Notary Service

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:  Verify your Information

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.

Assessors Office

From the Assessor

John Barrington, Township AssessorI’m excited to offer the information on this website as a way to help educate and share information with you. It is my hope that this website, in conjunction with our new Facebook and Twitter accounts, will help keep you connected to our office. I want you to know that we are here to help you and we are your local resource, right here in Lake Zurich. We will work with you to help you understand the assessment and appeal process and will assist you with exemptions.

A big goal of mine is to reach out into the community and help educate you, the taxpayer. We are offering various outreach sessions, forums, and speaking engagements through various organizations to help me reach this goal.  I’ve always felt that an educated taxpayer is extremely important as the assessment process can be quite complex.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have. I would also appreciate your feedback; Feel free to e-mail me anytime at jbarrington@elaassessor.org

Exemptions

Exemptions

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 visithttp://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 $4,000 (through tax year 2012), and will be increasing to $5,000 starting in tax year 2013. You may apply for the Senior Homestead Exemption at any time during the year in which you turn 65; but because property taxes are paid in arrears, the exemption will not take effect until you receive your following year tax bill. 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.

*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.

How To Appeal

How to Appeal

Property owners will receive their 2014 blue assessment notices for Ela Township sometime in late Summer to early Fall. It’s important for taxpayers to read and understand this notice.

Example Assessment Notice

Evaluating your 2014 property assessment valuation  

  • Review all of the information on the assessment notice.
  • Visit assessor.lakecountyil.gov to review assessment information including property characteristics and comparable property information.
  • Call or stop into the Ela Township Assessor’s office well before the deadline if you found any errors or if you feel your property is over assessed.
  • If you disagree with our review or miss the deadline for an in office review, you will have until the deadline to file a formal appeal with the Board of Review.
  • You can complete an assessment appeal form (by paper, or electronically using the e-filing system) and submit with supporting evidence to the Board of Review before the deadline.

HOW DO I FILE AN APPEAL IF I DISAGREE WITH THE ASSESSED VALUE OF MY PROPERTY?

Typically in the fall you will receive your blue assessment notice.  Look the form over carefully to verify that the basic information listed on your property is correct.  If you disagree with the assessed value, please call or come into our office and we will be able to assist you in the appeal process.  It is best to come into our office within the first week of receiving the notice to discuss your assessment, as we may have a better chance of making any changes that may be needed at this level rather than having to file formally with the Board of Review.  We strongly encourage this, my staff and I are here to help in any way that we can.

There are a few things you can do before you come into our office.  The first step is to confirm the property characteristics of your home.  If you find that there is a factual error that needs to be corrected, please let us know.   You can provide our office with comparable properties to review, such as recent sales of similar properties.  This will help us during our review.  You can do both of these things by accessing the Lake County Website athttp://assessor.lakecountyil.gov/Assessments/Pages/Assessment-Information.aspx.  If you do not have a computer the Library is a resource that can be utilized.  If you need help using this website please call or come in and we will be more than happy to assist you.

Once you have reached this website enter your PIN or address and you will be able to see the Property Characteristics page.  The next step would be for you to find at least three comparables to support what you feel the value of your property should be.  Scroll down to the bottom of the Property Characteristics page, this is where you can locate many of the comparables based either on sales, uniformity or both.

Remember, we are here to help you. My job as your Assessor is to create the assessed values to apportion the tax burden, but I am also here to help you by correcting factual errors, ensuring you have all the exemptions you qualify for, and helping you ensure that you are properly assessed. I ask that you give us a chance before you file a formal appeal or hire a tax attorney. Most of the people that contact our office in the first two weeks after receiving the assessment notice receive a response from our office prior to the deadline to file with the Board of Review. Remember, we are your local resource and most importantly, we are here for you.

Assessor FAQ

Assessor FAQ

How Is My Assessment Determined?
As prescribed by the State, assessors use 3 years of sales preceding the assessment date to estimate market value.  The Assessment date is January 1st of that year. In the assessment process, we do not predict the value in the future; rather we use factual evidence from the past.  It is impossible to appraise all the property in the Township using the current year sale data because it would delay the entire tax cycle.

How Can I File An Appeal?
You receive your assessment notice from the County, typically in the late summer to early fall.  From the day that it is mailed, you have thirty days to file an appeal based on the assessed value of your property. When you receive your notice, please look it over carefully for exemptions you are entitled to and verify that the features and square footage of your property are accurate.  The Lake County website http://assessor.lakecountyil.gov/Pages/default.aspx has a wealth of information available for you to use in your appeal as well as the forms needed to do so. However, we strongly encourage you to visit or call our office to discuss your assessment before you file an appeal.  Note: AN ASSESSMENT APPEAL DOES NOT ADDRESS THE AMOUNT OF THE PROPERTY TAX BILL.

 

What If The Assessor Has Incorrect Information On My Property?
You can check your property characteristics at any time during the year athttp://assessor.lakecountyil.gov/Pages/default.aspx.  If you notice that there is incorrect information, please call our office and let us know.  We can then set up an appointment for a field person to come out and verify the changes.

 

If My Assessment Goes Down Will My Tax Bill Go Down?
Contrary to popular belief, your assessment does not determine your taxes.  The main purpose of assessing property is to fairly distribute the tax burden according to your property’s value.  Generally tax bills are going up as a result of increased spending by taxing bodies.  So, if government spending and the “levy” requests do not decrease, most of us will see no relief in our tax bills.

 

Where Do My Tax Dollars Go?
Governments are all trying to cut spending and find additional sources of revenue to provide their service.  Most local taxing bodies rely heavily on the revenue from property taxes to fund their services.  However the cost of these services keeps increasing requiring more money from property taxes.  When a taxing body asks for more money it means spending, the tax burden is increasing and property taxes will increase.  The following is an example of how tax dollars are spent based on a $7,500 tax bill for a Lake Zurich resident.

Where does your tax dollars go?

What Information Can I find On My Tax Bill?
When you receive your tax bill it is important to go over this information as well.  Other than the amount of taxes due, you will be able to see both the market and assessed value of your property, the exemptions that you currently have as well as the amount of each exemption, your taxable value, your taxing bodies, their individual tax rates and how much they receive from your tax bill and the amount of change from the prior year.

To view your bill or see your payment status, please visit the Treasurer’s website athttp://www.lakecountyil.gov/treasurer/Pages/default.aspx.

 

 

 

 

What Kind of Exemptions Are There and How Do I Qualify For Them?
To qualify for exemptions on your property you must be the owner of record and it must be your primary residence.  You must be 65 for the Senior Exemptions.  Remember, only Cook County requires you to reapply for the Senior Homestead Exemption every year.  A list of exemptions and downloadable forms are available athttp://assessor.lakecountyil.gov/Property-Tax-Relief/Pages/default.aspx

Assessor Links

Assessor Links

Assessment Information & Comparable Grids:

Property Search

Enter your PIN# or address. Review the property characteristics, picture of the property (if available) and sketch. If you find any errors on your property then contact our office and we can work on getting them corrected for you.

Assessment Comparables –

Click on:  Select Comparable Properties to Determine Assessment Equity

  • Check the Select box for 3 comparables or enter PIN#’s
  • Click on Generate Comparable Form to generate the Comparable Assessment grid

Recent Sales Comparables –

Click on:  Select Comparable Properties by Recent Sales

  • Check the Select box for 3 comparables or enter PIN#’s
  • Click on Generate Comparable Form to generate the Comparable Assessment grid

Board of Review Forms
Click on Board of Review – Appeals and choose Appeal Forms.

Lake County Maps Online:

Lake County has transformed its Online Mapping Application increasing transparency and providing users with easy access to maps, tax and property information, and other interactive features. Explore the new application here: http://maps.lakecountyil.gov/mapsonline/

The instructions for using the new map are at:   http://mdweb01/mapsonline/FAQ.html

Exemption Information:

http://assessor.lakecountyil.gov/Property-Tax-Relief/Pages/default.aspx

Our office is available to assist you with the filings of all property exemptions.

View your Tax bill or see your payment status:

You can view your current tax bill and past years tax amounts at:http://www.lakecountyil.gov/treasurer/Pages/default.aspx

Update your mailing address:

http://www.lakecountyil.gov/Treasurer/Documents/NameAddressChange.pdf

Tax Bills are mailed in May

Due dates:  June and September.

All bill information will be available on-line atBill Information – Click Here

Payments:
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.           Make Payment

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.Payment Dates

Why did my tax bill increase?

Ela Tax Rates with extensions 2013

This can be a tense time for taxpayers if you feel your bill is too high. 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:Verify Your Information  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 tax bills 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.

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.

 Why?

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 becausNew Imagee 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.

 

 

 

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 receiving 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 visitProperty Tax Relief

  • 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.