Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How is my property’s assessment determined?
A: For most non-farm property, the township assessor estimates the fair cash value of the property as of January 1 of the assessment years, based on the three prior years of sales in that jurisdiction/area/subdivision. The Chief County Assessor then equalizes all assessments to achieve uniform valuations throughout the County. Information about farm assessments can be found on the Farm Assessment page.
Q: Will I be notified if my assessment is going to be changed?
A: By state law, notices of all assessment changes are published in a local newspaper. There are two different ways these may be published. One is when an individual assessment has been changed. The second is a notice of equalization factor to be applied to a certain class of property in a specific township. Also, if the Township Assessor changes your assessment, you will be notified by U.S. Mail, sent to the same address where your tax bill is sent.
Q: How can I compare the assessed value of my property to the assessed values of similar homes in my area?
A: This information is public record and you have the right to view it. You may inspect the records for any parcel of property, including your own, subject to reasonable regulations set down by local officials. Contact your township assessor or the Henry County Assessment Office and we will be happy to assist you.
Q: What should I do if I think my property is over-assessed?
A: You should begin by discussing your assessment with your township assessor. This is the most efficient and effective way to begin the process of discovery. If you cannot come to an agreed upon value with your assessor you may file an appeal with the Henry County Board of Review. There are generally three bases for appealing an assessment.
- Discrepancy in Physical Data - “The Property Record shows I have a 2,500 square foot house, but it’s only 2,200 square feet.”
- Valuation – “The equalized assessed value is more than 1/3 of my property’s fair cash value.”
- Equity – “My equalized assessed value is more than comparable properties in my neighborhood.”
Please note: The Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board has consistently ruled that the amount of taxes paid or the percentage of change in value from one year to the next is not a valid basis for an appeal.
Q: When can I file an appeal with the Henry County Board of Review?
A: By law, Assessment Appeals may be filed up to 30 days after a reassessment notice is published in the local newspaper.
Q: When I get my tax bill, is it too late to file an appeal?
A: Yes, it is too late. If there is an error in fact (not opinion of value), a correction can be issued. A few reasons that would allow for a correction: incorrect square footage, number of plumbing fixtures incorrect, you qualified for one of the homeowner exemptions but failed to apply.
Q: Why are my taxes higher than my neighbors?
A: It is very difficult to compare taxes because of the variety of exemptions for which a homeowner may qualify. You should compare assessed values then check to make sure you have all the exemptions you are allowed.