Property Tax Basics

The Illinois property tax system, while not difficult to understand, tends to mystify property owners because of the large number of officials and agencies involved in the cycle.  The property tax differs significantly from the income tax and consumption taxes, such as sales taxes and excise taxes on cigarettes, liquor, and gasoline.  It is an ad valorem tax based on the principle that the amount of tax paid should depend on the value of real estate owned, and not on consumption levels or one’s earning potential.

Two major activities comprise the Illinois property tax system:

  • The Levy Process – The determination of the amount of money needed through taxation to fund government programs and,
  •  The Assessment Process – The determination of the share of the tax burden for which each property owner is responsible.

Cuba Township currently contains 34 taxing authorities that combine into 51 different tax districts.  Each taxing authority, on a yearly basis, undertakes the budget and levy process.  During this phase of the cycle the taxing bodies will determine their future programs which will be funded through the property tax system.  Each district’s annual formal hearing on the budget is your opportunity to question the taxing district’s Board of Trustees on future spending programs financed through the property tax.

More appropriately called a real estate appraiser, your Township Assessor is the elected official who is responsible for determining the market value of your property.  In doing so, your share of the total tax burden is determined.  As a simplified example, if your property represents 1/100th of the total market value of taxable property within a levying jurisdiction, your share of tax for that tax jurisdiction should be 1/100th of the total taxes collected in that district.

My office will always do its best to answer any questions you have about the property tax system, your assessment, and/or any related subject. Please stop in or call us at 381-1120.

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