Q: What if I think my tax bill is too high?
A: Once you have received your tax bill, it is too late to appeal your assessment for that levy year. Assessments should be appealed soon after assessment notices are published and mailed in the prior year. Only actual errors of fact (e.g., missing exemptions, incorrect square footage, miscalculation of tax rate, etc.) can be corrected after you receive your tax bill. If you believe an actual error of fact was made on your tax bill, please contact the Assessment Office.
Q: What if I think my assessment is too high?
A: To make a complaint on your assessed value, you may file an appeal with the Fulton County Board of Review. Commercial, residential, and farm appeal forms are available on this website. You have 30 days from the date of publication in order to file a complaint with our office.
Q: How do I file an appeal?
A: Every year you have 30 days from the publication date for the township the property is in to file an appeal. This date of publication varies from year to year. The appeal will be applied for the tax year you file. (For example, if you file in 2009, the decision will be applied to the 2009 tax bill which is payable in 2010).
Determine if your appeal is to be on equity or on market value. When filing on equity you are comparing assessments of comparable properties in your neighborhood. In a market value complaint, you can find recent sales data to support the fact that your home may be over-assessed. Remember, you need to use comparable properties. That means properties of similar size, story height, quality of construction, and style.
Along with the Board of Review Complaint form, evidence should be supplied. It is up to the taxpayer to find the information needed to make your appeal convincing. Examples of evidence are: A market analysis from a licensed realtor; A certified appraisal; Comparable sheet; Closing/Settlement statement; and Pictures are requested.
The Board of Review Complaint forms are available in the Supervisor of Assessments Office and on this website. Also, real estate transfer declarations and property record cards for you to support your appeal by address and pin number are in the office for taxpayers to view.
Note: The Board of Review Rules and Regulations can change every session. The rules will be available in the Supervisor of Assessment Office or posted online.
Q: When will I hear from the Board of Review?
A: Complaints are reviewed after the filing deadline. All communications are by mail. Make sure you put the right mailing address on the Board of Review Complaint form. There are three different replies you could receive. First, they could agree with your evidence and send you a tentative notice with the values matching what is stated on your appeal. A reply is not required if you agree. Second, they could send you a response with what they think the property is worth. The letter states that you have 10 days to reply in writing that you would like a hearing if you do not agree with the value. Third, they could send you a notice of a hearing date. The hearing can only be rescheduled once if you are unable to attend.
Q: What happens at the hearing?
A: The hearing is somewhat informal. The three members of the Board of Review and Supervisor of Assessments will be present. You may be represented by an attorney if you choose. Most residential property owners choose to represent themselves. The Board of Review will ask you to talk about the evidence that you submitted to prove your assessment should be changed. If you go to the hearing and all you have to say is that your taxes are too high, the Board will tell you that they have no jurisdiction over your tax bill. They can only discuss your assessment and the market value of your property. Your tax bill is calculated by subtracting exemptions, if any, from your assessment and multiplying by the rates for the various districts that serve your property. A home very near to you could have a different set of taxing districts. The exemptions and the taxing districts add too many variables, so the hearing should focus only on your assessment. After hearing your arguments and asking you questions about your evidence, the Board will ask the assessor to respond and provide any additional information.
Q: When will I know the decision of the Board of Review?
A: After all appeals are reviewed and the hearings have been held, a final notice is mailed to everyone who filed an appeal. Usually this is in January.
Q: What if I don’t agree with the final decision from the Board of Review?
A: Once you receive the final notice, you have 30 days from the postmark date to file with the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB). These forms are available in the Supervisor of Assessments office or on the Illinois Department of Revenue website. The hearings will be held in the same place as the county hearing. The Board of Review and a hearing officer from the Illinois Department of Revenue will attend the hearing. When filing with PTAB, it is a whole new case. New evidence can be provided.
Q: What if I don’t agree with PTAB?
A: Since you have exhausted all of your administrative remedies, you can now file a court action. Contact your attorney.