Responsibilities of the Assessor

The Township Assessor is an elected official who determines the value of property for tax purposes. The Assessor does not estimate or compute the Real Estate Taxes, does not send out Tax Bills, and does not collect Property Taxes. The Assessor is responsible for the fair and equitable appraisal of every parcel of property in their jurisdiction.

The Township Assessor keeps Property Record Cards which contain all the pertinent information about each parcel. The information includes; a brief legal description, land size, dimensions of all buildings, building type, and quality of materials used in construction of the structure. Most of this information is gathered when the property is first built, and then updated after that by periodic field inspections. Property Record Cards are available for inspection during regular working hours at the Township Office. Most of this information is available online through this website.

The Township Assessor also receives copies of the Real Estate Transfer Declarations, or "green sheets", for homes that have sold in the area. This sales information, along with other facts and figures about housing conditions, goes into the evaluation process. By comparing recent sales of homes in a neighborhood, the Township Assessor estimates how much all homes in that area would be sold for on the open market. This is their Market Value.

Market Value, as used in the appraisal of real estate, is defined by the Appraisal Institute as:
“The most probable price, as of a specified date, in cash or in terms equivalent to cash, or in other precisely revealed terms, for which the specified property rights should sell after reasonable exposure in a competitive market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, with the buyer and seller each acting prudently, knowledgeably, for self interest, and assuming that neither is under duress.”
The appraisal of the property is made by using all of this data to apply the three commonly used approaches to value; Cost, Income Capitalization and Sales Comparison Approach. The three estimates of value are then reconciled by the Assessor's experience and judgment into a final estimated value.

The basis for all assessments and reassessments is Market Value (occasionally the terms "full value" or "fair cash value" are used). According to Illinois State law, all property in Illinois (except Cook County) should be assessed at 33.33%, or one-third of Market Value. This is known as the Level of Assessment. For example, if a home could be sold for $330,000, the Assessed Valuation would be approximately $110,000 ($330,000 x 33.33%). Once the Market Value of a property is determined, the Township Assessor places the value of the property at the required percentage which results in the Assessed Valuation.

The Assessed Valuation is the base which other county, city, township, and village officials use when they determine property taxes.

Responsibilities of the Supervisor of Assessments

The Supervisor of Assessments (also called the Chief County Assessment Office) is an appointed county-level position that processes sales, exemptions, and mails assessment notices to taxpayers annually. In addition to these duties the Supervisor of Assessments may equalize assessments to achieve greater uniformity and equity within Lake County and serves as the Clerk to the Board of Review. Once the Assessor, Chief County Assessment Office and the Lake County Board of Review have completed their work for a given tax year, the assessment rolls are turned over to the County Clerk's Office for the calculation of the tax rates on each individual parcel.

Online Appeal Filing

Starting in 2019, all property assessment appeals must be done electronically. No attorney is required for a residential appeal. Appeals can be done in a few minutes by using the SmartFile E-Filing Portal.
Prior to filing a formal appeal to the Board of Review, property owners should review their assessments here to determine if an appeal is necessary.