When are tax bills mailed, and when is payment due?
Real Estate tax bills are normally mailed in late  April and are payable in two installments, due June 1st and September 1st.  You can pay both installments on or before June 1st if you desire.  State law has no provision for partial payments.

What if my taxes are paid through mortgage escrow?
We recommend that you make a copy of your tax bill and mail it to your mortgage company.

I just purchased this property.  Am I still responsible for paying last year’s taxes?
The usual procedure is for the seller of real estate to pay a credit to the buyer for accrued taxes at closing, in which case the buyer is responsible.  Review your closing documents and/or contact your real estate attorney to be sure.  Be aware that the legal remedy for unpaid taxes is a lien on the property.  It behooves the new owner to make sure the taxes are paid.

What happens if I can’t pay my property taxes?
State law requires that a tax lien sale be held each year, where investors pay taxes on delinquent properties and receive a tax lien certificate in return. Those investors have the right to take possession of the property after 2 1/2 years if the lien is not redeemed. Payment of taxes is an important responsibility that comes with the privilege of owning real estate. Click here for more specific information.

Why do my property taxes keep going up?
Property taxes reflect the cost of providing government services, including our school systems. These costs increase from year to year because of inflation and the expansion required to serve a growing community. The vast majority of this is in payroll costs including wages, health insurance, pension benefits and FICA taxes for government and school employees.

Who determines how high the property taxes will be?
There are approximately sixty different taxing districts in Boone County. The districts that affect your property are listed on your tax bill. Each district is run by a board of elected officials or a board appointed by elected officials. These boards each adopt annual budgets and enact levy ordinances that determine how much property tax they will collect in the coming year. Law requires that these actions be taken at public meetings that are published in advance.

Is there a limit to how much taxes can increase from one year to the next?
Yes. The Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, otherwise known as tax caps, limits each taxing district’s annual increase to five percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower, plus an allowance for new property added to the district. However, individual tax bills can sometimes increase more than the levy, because of changes in assessments and exemptions.

How does my assessment affect my tax bill?
In most cases, property assessments do not affect the total tax dollars levied or collected by a taxing district. The assessment is merely used to apportion the total tax levy among the property owners in the district. If the assessments for every parcel in a district go up or down the same percentage, this would not change the amount of the average tax bill.

Why didn’t my assessment go down as much as property values have dropped?
The assessment listed on your current tax bill is based on your property’s value as of January 1, 2015. By law, this assessment must be based on sales of comparable property during the prior three years (2012 through 2014).  Assessments represent a historical average, not the current real estate market.

If my assessment goes down, will my tax bill be lower?
Not necessarily. Your assessment is only used to determine your share of the total tax levy. If everyone’s assessment goes down the same percentage, your share of the levy will not change.

What can I do if I feel my assessment is incorrect?
When you receive your assessment notice in the fall (not your tax bill), you may file an appeal with the Board of Review within 30 days after the assessments are published. You will need to provide evidence to show that your property is not assessed properly.

What can I do to lower my property taxes?

  • Examine your tax bill to ensure that you’re getting all of the exemptions you’re entitled to. Senior citizens, veterans and disabled people are entitled to various exemptions. For more information on exemptions, look online at http://boonecountyil.org/assessor/taxrelief.htm or contact the Supervisor of Assessments Office at 815-544-2958.
  • Stay informed and involved in local government. Attend public meetings of taxing districts and communicate with elected officials. Controlling the cost of government is a difficult and complicated process that can only be successfully accomplished when citizens participate in the process.