A township is a political and geographic subdivision of a county and state. It is a municipal corporate body that can own property, borrow money and levy taxes in accordance with state statutes. A township’s elected officials may act for the electorate in the township’s name when conducting business.
Tazewell County is divided into 19 townships. Generally, there are eight officials in each township, elected for terms of four years; Supervisor, Clerk, Assessor, Highway Commissioner and four Trustees. The annual meeting of the township electors is held on the second Tuesday in April.
Townships have many duties and some permissive powers. Services which are expressly required of all townships include providing for general assistance, building and maintaining rural roads, and assessing real property. In addition, townships may establish libraries, medical clinics, museums, community buildings, recreation districts, mental health facilities, cemeteries and youth committees.
The Township Assessor might more accurately be called an appraiser. The Assessor does not levy a tax, but rather places a value on (assesses) all property based upon available market data.
The County Clerk compiles a list of all lands and lots to be assessed, including those which are taxable, or which have become taxable for the first time. These lists are conveyed to the Township Assessor through the office of the Supervisor of Assessments.
The Assessor must then determine the fair cash value of all taxable property and then assess that property at one-third of its fair cash value. Township Assessors use the same principles, techniques and methodologies as those employed by fee appraisers with only slight variations to accommodate the uniformity criteria of the statutes. The ultimate purpose of the assessed value is to proportion the tax burden, as established by the taxing bodies, over all property in a fair and equitable manner based on the value of the real estate.
Under Illinois law, several programs designed to provide property tax relief are available to homeowners. It is the hope of the Morton Township Assessor’s Office that the following information will familiarize you with these programs and answer some of the frequently asked questions. If there should be other questions, please contact our office.
According to value.
The value placed upon property after multiplying the fair cash value by the legal level of assessment.
The official act of discovering, listing and appraising property for ad valorem tax purposes.
The percentage of full value at which property is assessed as mandated by state law – currently 33.33%.
The government official responsible for estimating the value of property for ad valorem tax purposes.
Board of Review
A panel of three residents of a county appointed to review complaints that are filed by individual taxpayers. The Board of Review has specific statutory responsibilities to perform during a designated period of time.
The process of providing uniform aggregate assessments between townships and counties (see multiplier).
The assessed value multiplied by the county and/or state multiplier. This calculation gives the value of the property to which the tax rate is applied.
This term is used in two different contexts: 1) The process in which the County Clerk determines the tax rate needed to raise the revenue certified to the Clerk by each taxing body in the county; and 2) The actual dollar amount of revenue resulting from the tax rate when it is multiplied by the assessed value of a district.
Fair Cash Value
The amount for which a property can be sold in the due course of business and trade, not under duress, between a willing buyer and a willing seller.
Any structure, addition or other product of labor which is attached, lying upon or within the land that may not be removed without physical stress.
The amount of money that a taxing body requires to be collected through the property tax system.
The process of valuing a universe of properties as of a given date, in a uniform order, utilizing standard methodology, employing a common reference for data, and allowing for statistical testing.
A figure used by county and state officials and applied uniformly to all parcels within a township to “equalize” assessments between townships and counties so that all values reflect the same assessment level.
Permanent Index Number
A 12-digit number used to identify property for tax purposes. This number is used in place of lengthy legal descriptions.
Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB)
A state-level panel of five residents, experienced in assessment appeals, who review complaints by property owners who are unsatisfied with decisions rendered by the Board of Review.
The assessment that takes place every four years during which the Township Assessor must revalue property based on the previous three year’s sales activity.
An organization or government body having the statutory right to fund itself through the property tax system. Examples include schools, park districts, villages, fire protection districts and townships.
A percentage applied to each taxing body’s assessed valuation which will produce the amount levied by that taxing body, or, in other words, the levy divided by the assessed value equals the tax rate. The tax rate is expressed in terms of “dollars per $100 of assessed value”.
The geographic area whose boundaries define the taxing jurisdiction for a group of taxing bodies.
Eligibility requirements vary widely among these programs so you should review each program’s qualifications carefully. The staff in the Township Assessor’s office will be happy to provide additional information if needed. We encourage you to contact us if you have any questions about these programs. Exemptions reduce the equalized assessed valuation on the property prior to the calculation of real estate taxes due. Exemptions are only available on residential properties used as a primary residence. They are not available for commercial, industrial, second homes, rental or vacant properties.
This exemption is limited to your primary residence and lowers the equalized assessed value of your property by $6,000. To receive this exemption, you must:
Have lived on the property on or before January 1st of the assessment year.
The Township Assessor’s office initiates this exemption.
This exemption defers, up to four years, any increase in the assessment of your property due to an addition or other improvement to your home for which the Township Assessor would change the value.
A maximum of $25,000 of assessed value may be may deferred under this program.
The Township Assessor’s office initiates this exemption.
This exemption lowers the equalized assessed value of your property by $5,000. This exemption may be claimed in addition to the General Homestead Exemption. To receive this exemption you must:
Have one owner of record reach the age of 65 during the assessment year.
Apply for the exemption at the Township Assessor or Supervisor of Assessments office. You must bring identification that includes proof of age and a copy of the recorded deed.
If the property is held in a trust you must also bring a copy of the trust to show you have an ownership in the property.
This exemption freezes the assessment on your property, but does not freeze the tax rate. This exemption may be claimed in addition to those described above. You must understand that the actual taxes which you pay may continue to increase based upon the increased levies by the taxing bodies where you reside (school districts, park district, village, township, etc).
The filing deadline for this exemption is July 1st of the assessment year. To receive this exemption, you must:
Have fulfilled a property residency requirement as explained on the application form.
Be age 65 or older.
Have a maximum household income (gross) of $65,000 including Social Security and Medicare. This household income includes any income for all persons using the home as their primary residence on January 1st of the assessment year.
Obtain an application for this exemption from either the Township Assessor or the Supervisor of Assessments Office in Pekin. The completed exemption must be signed, notarized and returned to:Supervisor of Assessments 11 South 4th Street McKenzie Building, Suite 410 Pekin, IL 61554-4206
Please note, because your income could change from year-to-year you must reapply every year to continue to qualify for the exemption.
This program is designed to allow senior citizens to defer payment of part or all of the property taxes on their homes. This program functions as a loan, with an annual interest rate of six percent. The filing deadline for this program is March 1st of the assessment year. To qualify for this deferral you must:
Own the property, which must be used exclusively as a primary residence. Please note that joint ownership under this program is limited to you and your spouse.
Have lived on this or another qualifying property for at least three years, except for periods in which you may have resided temporarily in a nursing or sheltered care home.
Be age 65 or older by June 1st of the tax year.
Have a maximum household income of $50,000.
Owe no delinquent taxes on the property.
Eligible residents may defer part or all their property taxes for each year in which they qualify. The maximum which may be deferred (including interest and fees) is 80 percent of the tax payer’s equity in the property. Application for the Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Deferral Program must be made each year, and it involves completing two forms which are available at the Tazewell County Treasurer’s office. The applications include:
A request for information about the taxpayer, his or her income and the property for which the deferral is required.
A request that any joint owners and mortgage lenders agree to the deferral.
Presentation of evidence of adequate insurance on the property.
Completion of an agreement which sets out the conditions of the tax deferral, including the maximum amount which can be deferred, the interest rate to be charged, and arrangements for repaying the “loan”.
Assistance with filling out the forms and further processing of completed forms are available from:Tazewell County Treasurer 11 South 4th Street McKenzie Building, Suite 308 Pekin, IL 61554
The State of Illinois has a program called Circuit Breaker that provides several benefits to those who qualify. Benefits involve license plate discounts, prescription drug assistance and grants to help with real estate taxes. The Circuit Breaker is for Illinois residents, age 65 or older or with a disability, and who meet certain income requirements. You should review the eligibility requirements to see if you are able to enroll.
You can find out more about the Circuit Breaker by contacting:Illinois Department on Aging PO BOX 19021 Springfield, IL 62794
This exemption may be up to $70,000 of the assessed value for certain types of housing owned and used by a disabled veteran or his or her unmarried surviving spouse. The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs determines the eligibility for this exemption, which must be reestablished annually. Note: An applicant may not claim both this and either the new disabled person exemption in 15-168 or the new disabled veteran exemption in 15-169.
15-167 Returning Veteran’s Exemption
Exempts $5,000 from the assessed value for one year only, being the year in which the veteran returns from an armed conflict involving the United States.
15-168 Disabled Veterans Exemption
Annually exempts $2,000 from the assessed value for a person who has a disability that has lasted or can be expected to last more than a year, rendering them unable to engage in substantial gainful activity by reason of medically determinable mental or physical impairment. The Department of Revenue is directed to prescribe form, manner, rule and regulation for administration of this exemption. Proof of eligibility for disability benefits under Social Security, or an Illinois Disabled Person ID card for Class 2 disability will constitute proof of eligibility for this exemption. The County Office is required to mail an annual verification of eligibility that must be returned by the recipient of the exemption.
15-169 Disabled Veterans Standard Exemption
Annually exempts $5,000 from the assessed value for veterans having at least 75% disability or annually exempts $2,500 from the assessed value for veterans having at least 50% disability but less than 75%. Percentage of disability will be determined by certification from US Department of Veterans Affairs. Form will describe documents that will be required for proof of eligibility. Exemption continues with unmarried surviving spouse. The assessed value of property must be less than $250,000. Note: Taxpayer claiming exemption under 15-165 or 15-168 may not claim this exemption.
You apply for these exemptions through the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Once the exemption has been approved, the Township Assessor is notified automatically. Please note that some of these exemptions must be renewed each year.
You may obtain the necessary forms from:Veterans Assistance Commission 21302 Illinois Route 9 Tremont, IL 61568-9252 (Tel) 309-477-2271, (Fax) 309-477-3199