Taxpayers in Illinois pay property taxes to their local county governments. Local county government taxing districts assess property taxes to pay for their schools and local public services. Property taxes in Illinois make up the largest proportion of taxes that Illinois residents pay. In 1932, the state gave local governments the authority to assess property taxes to pay for their community services. Most property taxes pay for schools in local school districts.
Illinois property taxes are due in two installments. In 2009, the Illinois Legislature passed a new law advancing the first installment due date to April 1, 2011. In previous years, taxpayers had until March 1 to pay their first installments. The tax change is for the first installment in 2011 only. In 2012 and thereafter, Illinois residents will once again have until March 1 to pay their property taxes. The second installment due dates vary since the second installment bills rely upon data received by local governments. Illinois sends first installment tax bills using a standard 50 percent tax rate based on the taxpayer's previous year property tax bill. For second tax bills, Illinois local governments base the taxes on assessments, assessment exemptions, the state's equalization tax factor, tax appeals and taxing-district tax rates. The first installment tax rate increased from 50 percent to 55 percent of the previous year's tax totals.
Local Government Tax Rates
Illinois local governments determine their own tax rates. The Illinois County Clerk's Office adds up all of the different rates and assigns a tax code to each jurisdiction. The clerk's office multiplies the assessment value of the taxpayer's real property after deducting allowable credits or homesteads by the aggregate tax code rate for that county. Tax bills reflect fair cash or assessed value of the taxpayer's real property.
Illinois has 102 township counties, 17 of which are county governments. Each county and township county can collect property taxes from its residents. Real property taxes are assessments on land and permanent fixtures on the land. Personal property is all other property. Illinois counties and township counties only assess real property taxes.
Illinois offers several types of homestead tax relief exemptions to qualified residents. Cook County offers a Long-Time Occupant Homestead Exemption for low- and moderate-income residents who have lived in their primary residences for at least five continuous years. Taxpayers who receive governmental housing assistance can qualify for the exemption if they have lived in their homes for at least 10 continuous years. All Illinois counties offer a Disabled Persons' Homestead Exemption to permanently disabled taxpayers. The amount excluded from taxable income assessments is $2,000.
Since tax laws can frequently change, you should not use this information as a substitute for legal or tax advice. Seek advice through a certified accountant or tax attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction.