Lake County Illinois- Protest your real estate taxes

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Lake County  Illinois- How to protest your real estate taxes  In Lake County,Illinois the real estate tax assessments (they used to be called blue cards) are mailed from the end of the summer to the middle of the November depending on the township you live.   I live in Vernon Township and we are usually one of the last townships to receive our new real estate tax assessment. 

Lake County residents have only 30 days after they receive their notice of assessment,(not 30 days after you receive your real estate bill),to file an appeal for that year.   In other words, it is imperative at this time to  act fast if your assessment was already mailed.    Click here for the Lake County tax appeal deadlines for each of the townships. 

According to the Lake County Chief County Assessment Office, for the most part Lake County residents will see assessment valuations lower for 2011.  However, this does not necessarily mean that the residents  will see lower property taxes, ie..  the tax rate may ultimately be increased to compensate for the lower assessment values.   

It is important to  verify that your Lake County real estate property record card reflects accurate information when you receive the reassessment form.  The number of baths, basement area, finished lower level, gross building area, garage type, etc. are important components of your total market value. If you find an error, contact your particular township to discuss these errors and if they agree with your findings, they will correct the property record card to reflect the changes. 

If your Lake County property assessment card is already accurate, and you believe your assessment is too high, it is important to find 3 or more comparable properties from your neighborhood which are the  most similar to your home.   The homes you choose  should be the same style, i.e. ranch, split level, 2-story, etc. as your home; be of similar size and have similar amenities, such as bath count, fireplace, garage size, etc.  If you click on the Lake County’s website, they have a great tool to help you with determining  comparables

After you choose the comparables, it is important to review the  assessments of these properties to your property  to determine if you are equitably assessed.  If it appears that your assessment is higher than the comparables,  you may  consider contesting or appealing your assessment.  If you live in Lake County, the appeal needs to be filed on the appropriate Lake County forms.   Also, if you have a recent appraisal or a Hud statement from a recent purchase, this information will be extremely helpful in the appeal process

If you want a lawyer to handle the assessment and the paperwork for you, their charge is approximately 1/3 of the first years real estate tax savings.  I have names of people to recommend if you would like to call or email me.

However If you want to save money and protest your taxes yourself,  it is not a difficult process and Lake County will guide you through it.    State Rep. Carol Sente is hosting a property tax seminar along with Lake County Board member Aaron Lawlor, Vernon Township Assessor Gary Raupp and Lake County Assessor Martin Paulson. The event is set for Tuesday, Sept. 13, 6:30 to 8 p.m., at the Aspen Branch of the Cook Memorial Library at 701 Aspen Drive, Vernon Hills. “With so many families struggling in the midst of this difficult economy, high property taxes only add to that burden,” Sente said. “This seminar will help educate residents on how to appeal their property taxes, answer basic questions and allow them to ask questions directly to the assessors.”

As a Lake County Real Estate Agent,  I can also help guide you through the process.  I have successfully appealed my real estate taxes for the past few years and have helped my many friends, and clients through the process.

If you’re interested in Lake County Real Estate  and want to learn more about the community, schools, local events, updated market statistics, utility company names and numbers, recommended local vendors, and real estate checklists, visit my website: Judy Greenberg, Realtor, call me at 847-602-5435, or email me at info@buffalogrovehomes.com

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