It's mid-year and we thought we would make mention of few goings on in Collar and Cook Counties...
Tax bills are out...the cycle for payment of real estate tax places in the taxpayer's hands two bills at the same time. One bill is payable in the first week of June and the second payable in the first week of September. The most recent bills are for the 2013 real estate tax year. Bills are always one year in arrears.
We saw a number of townships with negative multipliers. The multiplier, as the name implies, can increase or decrease your local assessment. It's a stopgap to insure that assessments are following the market place. If sales are trending downward you might find your local Supervisor of Assessments applying a negative multiplier (less than 1) and, if sales are trending upward applying a multiplier greater than 1. Confusing? Yes...
Let's put it another way...Assessors have to come up with a value for their townships that makes sense in terms of how the market has turned. If they miss the mark, even by a small amount, a multiplier corrects the market analysis up or down.
Does a negative multiplier mean less tax? No.
Remember your real estate tax bill pays for government and school services. Your share of the governmental pie is determined by the percentage your individual assessment is to the total county assessment. Even if the assessments are lowered (by a negative multiplier) the budgeted cost of government (the Levy) has to be paid.
Think of it as if there are five people paying a bill of $100.00. Each has to pay $20.00 (or 20%). If there were only four people paying a $100.00 bill each would have to pay $25.00 (25%). So if the county's assessment is lowered and the levy stayed the same, all it might do is increase your tax rate.
Keeping your "individual assessment" low does help however but unfortunately the time for filing an appeal for the 2013-year has long passed. The assessment cycle comes to conclusion long before bills are sent to the taxpayers.
The opportunity to contest your individual assessment normally occurs July through December of the year prior to payment.
We are coming up to appealing 2014. Keep us in mind if you think your assessment is too high. Although multipliers are applied to every parcel in a county, it still helps to be at the lower end of an assessment line to keep your share of the government bill to a minimum.
At this moment in time the Assessor of Cook County has opened 17 of 38 townships for appeals for the 2014 real estate tax year. Like the collar counties, the assessment cycle begins a year before payment of any real estate tax. Unlike the collar counties two bills are mailed separately. Our 2013 first installment was due March 4, 2014. The second installment should come out about July 1st for payment in August.
The Illinois Department of Revenue is in charge of setting the multiplier in Cook County. Early notice suggested that the 2013 multiplier would be 2.6039 slightly down from 2012. So what does that tell you? It is well to early to speculate on what exactly will happen individually but the general observation remains the same. Government spending (the Levy) will have the most influence on whether your tax bill will go up or down as the local taxing rates adjust to compensate for payment. That is not something you have a lot of control over. But you do have a say so appealing your individual assessment.
There are two local levels to appeal your individual assessment. As the Assessor opens and closes townships the responsibility is passed onto the Board of Review. It always behooves one to know when!
Let us help you.