The 2012 Ela Township property assessments will be mailed on Sept. 27, but property owners can get a sneak peak online through the Lake County Assessment Office.
Ela Township Assessor John Barrington said 85 percent of properties will see a decrease in their assessments this year.
“Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen the assessments come down year after year,” Barrington said.
However, a lower assessed value for your home doesn’t necessarily equate to lower taxes.
“When people see their assessment decline, they assume their tax bill will follow suit. The change in the market doesn’t make it less expensive to operate government,” Barrington said.
In general, tax levies would have to decrease in order for taxpayers to see a decrease in their tax bills.
Barrington said, however, that property owners whose assessments have gone down significantly more than the average are likely to see some tax savings.
“We’ve seen levies stay the same or go up year after year. We are very fortunate to have pretty good services and top rate schools. These are the amenities that drew us here, but they come at a cost,” he said. Barrington encouraged residents to attend local government meetings so they can understand budgets and see where their tax dollars are going.
Barrington said Ela Township property taxes range from $6,000 to $60,000, with most Lake Zurich property owners hovering around $10,000 and Kildeer, Hawthorn Woods property owners paying more than $10,000 per year.
While property assessments have decreased, Barrington continues to see more and more property owners challenging their assessments.
Barrington encourages residents to contact the Ela Township Assessment Office first, rather than filing an appeal with the county.
“Prior to Oct. 15, we can do an in-office review and can make the change if appropriate. Give us a chance to do it first; it’s easy and it’s free,” Barrington said.
Last year, Barrington helped more than 1,000 residents get their assessments reduced.
Residents have until Oct. 29 to file a formal appeal with the Lake County Board of Review.
See: Should You Appeal Your Property Assessment?