Understanding Your Property Tax Bill
How is a tax bill calculated?
Once tax rates for all taxing bodies in a county have
been set, the County Clerk must add up the rates which apply
to particular areas in the county. Different parts of the
county are under jurisdiction of different combinations of
taxing districts. The County Clerk divides the county into
tax code areas, in which all property is subject to the
jurisdiction of the same combination of taxing units and
thus has the same combination of tax rates. Aggregate rates
are computed for each code area. A tax bill is calculated by
multiplying the equalized assessed value of a property (less
any homestead exemptions) by the aggregate rate for the tax
code area in which the property lies.
The aggregate rate seen on a bill will be a combination
of a county rate, a township rate, a school district, a city
rate (if a taxpayer lives within the boundaries of an
incorporated municipality), and rates for any special
districts, such as fire, sanitary, etc., which service the
area. In Illinois, the rate is generally expressed in terms
of dollars per hundred dollars of equalized assessed
valuation (the same as a percent).
As an example, an aggregate rate of 9.964 might include:
Forest Preserve District
A taxpayer whose home had an equalized assessed value of
$20,000 (after the homestead exemptions were deducted) would
have had, based on this rate, a tax bill of $1,993.
Can you define the terms used on my tax bill?
Fair Cash Value - The amount for which a property can be
sold in the due course of business and trade, not under
duress, between a willing buyer and a willing seller.
Assessed Value - The value placed on property for tax
purposes and the basis for determining what portion of the
overall tax burden each property owner will bear.
Equalization Factor or Multiplier - The equalization
factor (sometimes called a multiplier) is the tool used to
bring all property to a uniform level of assessment.
Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) - The equalized assessed
value, or EAV, is the result of applying the state
equalization factor to the assessed value of a parcel of
property. Tax bills are calculated by multiplying the EAV
(after any deductions for homesteads) by the tax rate.
Exemption - The removal of property from the tax base. An
exemption may only be a portion of the equalized assessed
value, such as a homestead exemption, or for the complete
amount of the equalized assessed value, such as a church
building used exclusively for religious purposes.
Tax Rate - The amount of tax due, stated in terms of a
percentage of the tax base. (Example: $6.81 per $100 of
equalized assessed valuation (equal to 6.81%). You can
obtain this percentage by dividing the levy for a fund by
the equalized assessed value for the taxing district. Some
funds have a maximum statutory tax rate that may not be
exceeded. The sum of the fund rates equals the total
Taxing District - (amount of taxes collected for each
district) - Any unit of local government, school district or
community college district with the power to levy property
Tax Code - A number used by the county clerk that refers
to a specific combination of taxing bodies.
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Wood River, Illinois 62095
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