In this area you will be able to view questions and the answers most frequently asked of the Township Assessor's Office. If there is a question that you do not see and would like answered please contact the office either by telephone (815-232-6131) or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Use of terms that you might see or hear used by the Assessor's Office:
1) Market Value/Full Value/Fair Cash Value is the 100% value of both land and buildings on a parcel.
2) Assessed Value is 1/3 or 33.33% of the Market Value. The State of Illinois has chosen to use 33.33% of Market as the Assessed Value.
3) The breakdown of your assessment includes:
The term "improvements" does not mean that you have improved the existing structure(s), but that a structure or in the case of commercial/industrial properties parking lot/paving is considered an improvement to the land.
There are a multitude number of attributes that are considered when valuing a property. These attributes include, but not limited to, square footage, story type, construction type, foundation type, number of plumbing fixtures, garage style and size, central air, finished basement, porches, decks, patios, gazebos, sheds, quality of construction and condition, fireplaces, and age of structure.
This would include, but not limited to sidewalks, fences, swimming pools, landscaping, etc. Should you paint, side or roof your home this is considered normal maintenance and typically will not change your assessment. If in question please feel free to contact the office @ 815-232-6131.
The assessor may have revalued your property or, as required by law, an equalization factor was applied by the Stephenson Chief County Assessment Officer to adjust the level of assessments in Freeport Township to 33.33%. For further information please feel free to contact the office @ 815-232-6131
The Market Value of your property may change due to the flucuation of the Real Estate Market within Freeport Township. Even though your house isn't for sale, it is the assessor's job to determine what your property would be worth today if it was placed on the open market.
You can access what data the Assessor currently has on your property through our website; Parcel Search. Should you have questions or concerns you can contact the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
You should call the Assessor's Office to discuss your assessment @ 815-232-6131
It can, if the Assessor determines just cause, it can lower a value based on condition at the time of sale. If this doesn't satisfy the owner, your next step is to file a complaint with the Board of Review.
Our current database cannot accommodate the size of most commercial and industrial information. We are currently working to make the drawings available, which will provide the building measurements. If you need information please contact the office and we will be glad to assist you.
There are 4 entities that can change the assessment established by the Assessor's Office.
1) The CCAO (Chief County Assessment Officer) may apply an Equalization Factor on the Township. This would be done to bring the level of assessments to the State required 33.33% (1/3 of Market Value).
2) The State of Illinois may apply a multiplier.
3) The Stephenson County Board of Review.
4) Illinois State Property Tax Appeal Board.
1) You may appeal your assessment with the Stephenson County Board of Review. This must be done within 30 days of the publication date. Board of Review Rules
2) If not satisified with BOR decision you my appeal your assessmnet with the State of Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board. You may do this after you receive written notice of the Board of Review decision. The taxpayer must file their appeal within 30 days of the Board's Decision Date.
Contact: Chief County Assessment Office
All exemptions are handled by the Chief County Assessment Office. Direct your inquiries to that office @ 815-235-8260
You can access additional information on each of these at: CCAO Site
The list of exemptions are as follows:
Owner-Occupied Exemption (aka O-O)
Homestead Improvement Exemption
Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption
Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption
Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Deferral Program
Returning Veterans' Homestead Exemption
Disabled Veterans Exemption
Disabled Persons' Homestead Exemption
Non-Homestead Exemptions for Religious, Charitable or Educational Organizations
Illinois Circuit Breaker
The City of Freeport requires building permits to be taken out for improvements to your property. Please contact the Community Development Department to ensure City guidelines and requirements are met. Contact them at: Community Development Department @ 815-235-8202
An assessment change notice is a notice mailed by the Chief County Assessment Office to notify an owner that there has been a change made by the Assessor's office. It is important to note that these notices are published in a local paper and the period to file a complaint on this assessment is 30 days from the date of publication, not from the date that you received your notice in the mail.
A sale is considered valid when the transaction is an arm's length transaction This includes all parties being knowledgeable of the market, making informed decisions without undue influence, having the property exposed to the open market, and/or not involving a financial or governmental agency as the principal buyer or seller.
A sale is considered invalid if it meets one or more of the following:
1) It involves a financial or government agency
2) Parties are related individuals or corporations
3) Sales mandated by the court
4) Only a portion of the parcel or a partial interest is transferred
5) When there is a trade in parcels
6) If the property has not been exposed to the open market (not advertised)
7) Auction Sales
In this area we will try to address questions regarding your tax bill.
It is Important for you to know that the Assessor does NOT determine property taxes. The assessed value established by the Assessor's Office is used to determine each taxpayer's share of the tax burden created by the units of local government who are funded by the property tax.
1) When I get my tax bill is it too late to complain about my assessment? Generally, yes, it is too late to appeal for that assessment year. It might be beneficial to speak with the Assessor's Office if you have not done so already.
2) How can I calculate estimated taxes? We have composed a spreadsheet for you to complete to estimate your tax bill. Estimate a Tax Bill If you have questions regarding your exemptions please contact the Chief County Assessment Office @ 815-235-8260
3) Can I find out if taxes have been paid and who paid them? Direct these questions to the Stephenson County Treasurer's Office @ 815-235-8264
4) Who determines the tax rate? The Stephenson County Clerk is responsible for calculating the rate for all taxing districts within Stephenson County.