Ultimate Lee County Real Property Tax Guide for 2024

Guide Overview

With the help of this guide, you’ll get a useful insight into real property taxes in Lee County and what you should understand when your bill is received. Whether you are a resident, planning on it, or only wishing to invest in Lee County, read on to gain an understanding of what to look forward to.

Average Property Tax Rate in Lee County

Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

Lee County Property Taxes Range

Lee County Property Taxes Range

Copy Link
Based on latest data from the US Census Bureau

You May Be Charged an Unfair Property Tax Amount

Possibly you’re unfamiliar that a real estate tax bill sometimes is more than it ought to be because of an unfair evaluation. Not surprising though when assumed similar properties in districts are assigned the same fair market value based upon just a few — again presupposed — comparable properties’ estimated values. Besides that, assessors’ offices may make miscalculations. With any possible incorrect assessment, it’s necessary to quickly assemble the facts and think about submitting a formal protest.

Watch out for repeat installments that take place particularly if you’ve recently remortgaged. Study your real estate billing statement with vigilance. Levy statements are easily accessible on the web for all to examine. Match your real estate’s set market value with comparable homes in your neighborhood while taking special note of just completed sales. Also think about the probable influence of recent market trends on real estate prices generally.

If you suspect there’s been an overstatement of your levy, don’t hold off. If you don’t know whether an appeal is a long shot or not, rely on pros to weigh whether to appeal. The only charge for some appeal firms’ help is a percentage of any tax saving discovered. More on this later in the guide.

What Is a Tax Protest Procedure?

If you believe that your property tax value assessment is too high, you are allowed to protest the assessment. Lee County is accountable for assessing the tax value of your property, and that is where you will file your appeal.

The county’s tax office and their website have the regulations, process, and filing documents that you need. Read through the process attentively prior to filling out the documents. If you omit mandatory details or miss a submission time limit, your appeal could be dismissed or sent back to you to finish.

You’ll have a limited amount of time after getting your tax notice to appeal. Don’t waste any time arranging your appeal papers or you might miss the deadline.

It is crucial that you get a copy of the entire assessment report from the county. The appraisal report might be the determining factor in the success of your protest. If the assessor made mistakes, like comparing your property to dissimilar properties, you’ll have strong cause to protest.

If you file a detailed package with supporting evidence, the county may decide without requiring that you proceed with a formal appeal. If not, you may have to make a detailed submission to the county review board. Your appeal will hinge on demonstrating that your real estate’s tax value is wrong. General complaints about real estate tax rates or how fast real estate tax values have appreciated have no positive impact on your protest.

If you are not satisfied with the panel’s conclusion, you may appeal to a state board or panel. If the case requires going to court, you better solicit for service of one of the best property tax attorneys in Lee County IL.

Protesting your real estate tax value is your right. But, the time it takes to conduct an appeal might not be appropriate if the assessment hike does not raise your payment very much. Check your real tax payment, including any tax exemptions that pertain to your property. Reasonable property value growth won’t boost your annual bill sufficiently to justify a protest.

How to Get Your Taxes Reduced for Free?

Pay only if you achieve a tax reduction when you join with protest specialists on a contingent fee basis. This type of an arrangement means the fee you incur is restricted to a percentage of any tax reduction. Without tax reductions, you owe nothing!

Appeal companies are incentivized to fully explore your bill, prepare for and participate in conferences, uncover mistakes, locate forgotten exemptions, and prepare for any legal action. Protest companies are often hired to specifically address dozens of available exemptions proven to be particularly intricate and litigious.

Under protest, two methods are often utilized for re-computing proposed fair market values. A re-evaluation frequently involves one of these methods, i.e. a “sales comparison” or an “unequal appraisal” analysis. Both involving nearby real estate, sales comparisons appraise market values using recent sales data while unequal appraisals focus on appraisal disparity between similar real property.

Smaller specialty firms that take on full evaluations typically use sales comparisons. Often required, complete reexaminations are conducted in-person. Conducted by a State Licensed appraiser, its evidence is of incontrovertible significance. Modifications would only follow from, yet again, a whole re-appraisal. Say three similar homes sold for $500,000, while the re-evaluated home needs new shingles costing $10,000, then its re-evaluation drops to $490,000.

Big companies in particular employ an unequal appraisal approach for tax savings even when appraised values aren’t as high as current market values. Locally they first group like properties of relatively equal assessed value together. These candidates’ tax bills are then compared. Properties reflecting a mismatch with tax assessed being 10 percent or more above the representative median level will be pinpointed for more analysis. Note that in lieu of an upfront service charge, clients usually pay on a percentage basis — only when they get a tax reduction.

Select a company that works best for you in the directory containing the best property tax protest companies in Lee County IL.

Reduce Your Unfair Property Taxes

If we don't reduce your property taxes, we don't get paid
Request Property Tax Reduction

How Does Lee County Real Estate Tax Work?

Illinois gives real estate taxation power to thousands of community-based public entities. Nonetheless taxpayers most often receive just one combined tax bill from the county. Then receipts are paid out to these taxing entities based on a standard plan. In general, there are three aspects to real estate taxation: setting tax levies, evaluating market value, and then collecting the tax.

Taxing districts include city, county governments, and numerous special districts e.g. public colleges. Authorized as legal governmental units, they’re administered by elected officials or appointed officers. These entities work within defined geographical area, e.g. an agricultural preserve or school district.

The city’s conduct of real estate taxation must not violate the state’s statutory regulations. All property not eligible for exemption must be taxed evenly and uniformly on a single current market value basis. Appropriate notice of any rate increase is also a requirement.

Your city establishes tax rates all within the state’s constitutional guidelines. Left to the county, however, are appraising real estate, mailing levies, taking in collections, carrying out compliance, and handling complaints.

Real estate estimates are performed by the county. Illinois also has instituted instructions that Lee County administrators must observe in evaluating real property. This is to make sure real property appraisals are generally completed evenly. Appraisal techniques and precision matters are promising subjects for potential challenges.

With many variations, there are three primary appraisal methods for evaluating a home’s value. A Sales Comparison method is set by contrasting a property with like units sold during the last few months in the same community. The Income Capitalization method estimates current worth predicated on the property’s expected income production plus its resale value. A Cost Approach as well is principally a commercial real estate worth estimation method that adds the land value to the outlay for replacing the building.

A county appraiser usually reexamines your property’s market value at least once every three years. This figure is taken times the set tax rate — the sum of all applicable governmental taxing-empowered districts’ rates. Those entities include your city, Lee County, districts and special purpose units that produce that total tax rate.

Who and How Determines Lee County Property Tax Rates?

County appraisers are compelled by the Illinois constitution to set property market values. Any revenue impact of that evaluation cannot be a consideration in this process.

Illinois requires all real estate be appraised anew at least once in a few years. Typically new reviews use a sweeping strategy applied to all alike property in the same area without separate property tours. Lacking individual home tours and notice of your house’s particularities, for example significant water damage, those tax cutting opportunities could be overlooked.

In the beginning, when new homes and commercial buildings were built, appraisers compiled descriptive tax rolls. A tax roll depicts by address all properties within a specific neighborhood. Gathered from many sources, these properties were categorized based upon size, use, amenities, and building type. The property’s location and how it was used were also variables used to put together these sets and then assign market values en masse to them all. Without an individual inspection, this conceivably stale and undependable data – combined with current sales stats – is what appraisers are often provided with each new assessment period.

To secure some degree of equitable market worth evaluating, Illinois has installed this approach throughout the state. It’s easy to suspect, however, that with this en masse approach, distortions of omission and commission are inevitable! This process innately produces space for various contest opportunities.

With a total appraised taxable market value established, a city’s budget office can now compute needed tax rates. When totalled, the property tax burden all owners shoulder is recorded. This is mostly a budgetary function with unit managers first estimating yearly expenditures expectations. Then it’s a matter of establishing what tax rate will generate needed tax revenue. Theoretically, at least total revenue should equal the fund required for all budgeted undertakings that year.

In the state there are multiple community-based public entities from counties to cities to special purpose units. Every entity sets its individual tax rate. Under a consolidated tax bill, nearly all sub-county entities contract for the county to levy and collect the tax on their behalf.

The budget/tax rate-determining exercise often entails regular public hearings to debate tax rates and related fiscal questions. Keep in mind that under state law, taxpayers can call for a vote on proposed tax increases above set limits.

Specifically stated under the state Constitution, taxing entities, such as the city, have limits on hiking taxes. In reality, tax rates mustn’t be raised before the public is previously notified of that intent. Post-notice, a public formal meeting has to be held to discuss the proposal.

If Lee County property taxes have been too high for your budget resulting in delinquent property tax payments, you can take a quick property tax loan from lenders in Lee County IL to save your property from a looming foreclosure.

What Are Lee County Real Estate Taxes Used For?

Property taxes are the lifeblood of local neighborhood budgets. They’re a funding pillar for public services used to maintain cities, schools, and special districts, such as sewage treatment plants, public safety services, recreation, etc.

Illinois communities rely on the real property tax to sustain governmental services. Again, real property taxes are the largest way the city pays for them, including more than half of all public school funding. All other service categories, e.g. police/fire, hospitals, recreation, transportation, and water/sanitation facilities, benefit from similar fiscal support.

An important amount of real estate tax payments goes to district schools. Another big slice is reserved for city and other public employees’ salaries and benefits. Public safety with police and fire departments is a substantial consumer of the budget, also. Other burdensome duties are public transportation and road construction, followed by upkeep and repairs. Water and sewage treatment stations lead the way in sanitation concerns, similarly to hospitals in healthcare. Another group is public leisure offerings, like parks, and other entertainment amenities. Often repeated, “It all adds up!”

How Are Property Taxes Handled at Closing in Lee County?

Real estate tax payments are normally paid in advance for the full year. With that, who pays property taxes at closing when buying a house in Lee County? When buying a house, ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer. Purchasers are now compelled to remit the tax. From that point, purchasers reimburse former owners on a proportional basis.

Most often those prorated tax prepayments won’t be transferred straight to past owners. Instead, the mortgage holder, closing lawyer, or escrow agent will include that reimbursable tax with other purchaser financial responsibilities on final settlement.