The property reassessment equalization factor has been altered, resulting in a change in property taxes for the Illinois municipality of Stark County. The Illinois Department of Revenue has recently announced a change that affects residents throughout the county and how the taxes on property are determined.
Understanding the New Equalization Factor
The property assessment equalization factor, commonly referred to as the “multiplier,” has been set to 1.0199 for Stark County. This adjustment, confirmed by Director David Harris, is an essential tool used to achieve uniform property assessments among counties, a requirement by Illinois law. 2022 vs. 2023 Multiplier: The previous year’s multiplier for Stark County was 1.0000. The increase to 1.0199 this year reflects discrepancies between market values and assessed values of property sales from 2020, 2021, and 2022.
Assessment at Market Value: Illinois law mandates that property should be assessed at one-third of its market value. The recent adjustment is based on Stark County’s assessments at 32.68 percent of market value, derived from property sales in the past three years.
Impact on Homeowners
The whole amount of property tax bills is not directly affected by this adjustment in the equalization factor. Tax bills are influenced by the amount that local taxing authorities, such as school departments and emergency management agencies, require yearly to fund their operations.
Tax Bill Determination: A homeowner’s tax bill is decided by the requested amount from local taxing districts. If this amount does not exceed the previous year’s total, property taxes will not increase, even if assessments rise. .
Fair Tax Distribution: The purpose of the multiplier is to ensure fair taxation. It does not alter an individual’s tax responsibility but ensures everyone pays their fair share.
Countywide Equalization in Perspective
The equalization process aims to bring the three-year average of the median assessment levels in a township to 33.33% of the market value.
Township Statistics: Various townships in Lake County have experienced different adjustments in their multipliers, reflecting the median level of assessments over the past three years.
For example, Antioch’s multiplier changed from 1.0717 to 1.0215, while Wauconda’s shifted from 1.0583 to 1.0718.
Farmland Assessment: It is important to note that farmland in Illinois is assessed differently. It is based on its agricultural economic value and is not subject to the state equalization factor.
The Process Behind Equalization
The Chief County Assessment Officer (CCAO) in Lake County annually determines the level of assessment in each township. This determination is based on sales transactions from the three years before the assessment date.
Sales Ratio Studies: These studies compare the prices of individual properties sold over the past three years to their assessed value.
Final Adjustments: Once the county assessor completes their assessment roll, the CCAO analyzes changes by class (residential, commercial, industrial) and applies a township multiplier to all non-farm parcels.
The adjustment of the property assessment equalization factor in Stark County signifies a move towards fairer and more equitable property taxation. While this change may not directly affect individual tax bills, it ensures that property assessments align more closely with market values. Homeowners and taxpayers in Stark County should stay informed about these changes and understand how they contribute to the overall tax structure within their local communities.
For more detailed information, residents can refer to the Illinois Department of Revenue’s Publication 136. (PDF link).