Understanding Your Tax Bill

Your property tax bill is determined by two things:

  • The property’s equalized assessed value
    • This value is determined by local township assessors, who determine the market value of your home.  This value is based on many factors, including your property characteristics, current sales of like homes in your area and a sales ratio study that takes the three previous years’ sales into account.  Generally, your assessment is determined by taking one-third of your market value and subtracting any exemptions to which you may be entitled.  Click here for a list of Township Assessors.
  • The tax rate
    • Tax rates are determined by the Taxing Districts submitting a “Levy” of the amount of money they need to operate in the upcoming year.  Click here for the Will County Clerk’s Tax Extension Department.

Terms You Should Know

Equalization Factor: The factor that must be applied to local assessments to bring about the percentage of increase or decrease that will result in an equalized assessed value equal to one-third of the market value of taxable property.

Equalized Assessed Value: The assessed value multiplied by the state-certified equalization factor minus any exemptions.

Exemption: A reduction in the assessed value of a property.  Will County offers many exemptions, click here for a complete listing.

Levy: The amount of money a taxing body certifies to be raised from property tax.

Market Value: The most probable sale price of a property in a competitive and open market.

Tax Code: A number used by the County Clerk that refers to a specific combination of taxing districts.

Tax Rate: The figure multiplied by the equalized assessed value to determine the total amount of tax due.

Taxing Body/Taxing District: A local unit of government that levies to receive property tax money.  These include school districts, municipalities, park, fire and library districts among others.

Total Assessed Value (Tax Base): The sum of all real property within a taxing district.

Calculating Your Tax Bill

To determine your tax bill, the equalized assessed value of your property is multiplied by the tax rate for the tax code area in which your property lies.  This arrives at the actual amount of tax dollars you owe.

For example, your home has a net equalized assessed value of $50,000 and the tax rate was 8.3629, the tax bill would be calculated as follows:

  • $50,000 x .083629 = $4,181.45

Local Government Spending and Your Tax Bill

It is important to understand the first step in determining how much you owe in property tax is based on how much property tax revenue a taxing district is requesting.  Thus, whether the market value of your property goes up or down in any given year, may have no effect on your property tax bill because the budgets set forth by the taxing districts must be funded.  Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for five-year example of how assessments, tax rates and tax due fluctuate from year to year.