Assessor FAQ

How Is my assessment determined?

As prescribed by the state, assessors use three years of sales preceding the assessment date to estimate market value. The assessment date is January 1 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 Lake 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 has a wealth of information available for you to use in your appeal as well as the forms needed to do so. The online filing process is fast and simple, but residents can also mail in their appeal. Staff is available to assist with filing and scanning documents. Ela Township will then review all appeals and reach out with an offer to reduce the assessment if warranted. Instructions are available here. 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 at 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 $7,745 tax bill for a Lake Zurich resident.

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 Lake County Treasurer’s website at

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 at

Exemption Information