Property Tax Information

 

The County Clerk’s office plays an important role in the county’s property tax process by receiving tax levies from each taxing district and assessment information from the Supervisor of Assessments.  We use the information to extend taxes to each property annually.

Local taxing districts (municipalities, road districts, schools, etc.) file a levy request annually with the County Clerk seeking property tax funds from their district’s taxpayers for general and special purposes. The County Clerk ensures all levy requests are filed in compliance with the Illinois Truth-In-Taxation law with statutory tax rate limits and applies the property tax extension limitation law (PTELL or tax caps).

The County Clerk records all outstanding bonds from all of its taxing districts. Bond payment amounts are added to each district’s annual levy as required by the original payment schedule.

After property assessments are completed by the Supervisor of Assessments and the Board of Review, the County Clerk extends taxes to each parcel of property in the County, a process which determines the individual tax bill. Taxes depend on the assessed value of the property, as well as the dollar amount requested by each taxing body in that property’s taxing code. Once the Clerk completes tax extensions, the County Treasurer mails bills and collects tax payments.

In addition, the County Clerk’s office retains records which show the boundaries of each taxing district. The Clerk also files annexations and boundary changes in all taxing districts. These changes are reported to the Illinois Department of Revenue. Records relating to Tax-Increment Financing (TIF) districts and Enterprise Zone abatements, special processes designed to create or retain development, are also maintained.

 

Where Your Taxes Go

Understanding Your Tax Bill

Once tax rates for all taxing bodies in a county have been set, the County Clerk must add up the rates which apply to particular areas in the county. Different parts of the county are under jurisdiction of different combinations of taxing districts. The County Clerk divides the county into tax code areas, in which all property is subject to the jurisdiction of the same combination of taxing units and thus has the same combination of tax rates. Aggregate rates are computed for each code area. A tax bill is calculated by multiplying the equalized assessed value of a property (less any exemptions) by the aggregate rate for the tax code area in which the property lies.

The aggregate rate seen on a bill will be a combination of a county rate, a township rate, a school district, a city rate (if a taxpayer lives within the boundaries of an incorporated municipality), and rates for any special districts, such as fire, hospital, etc., which service the area. In Illinois, the rate is generally expressed in terms of dollars per hundred dollars of equalized assessed valuation (the same as a percent).

As an example, an aggregate rate of 9.5575 might include:
County
1.0541        

Bi-County
0.0888        

Rend Lake Conservancy District
0.0739        

City
1.3536

Grade School District
2.4997

High School District
2.2609        

Jr. College
0.6205

Township District
0.3390

Township Road District
0.4139        

Park District
0.2985        

Library District
0.3213

Hospital District
0.2333

Total
9.5575

A taxpayer whose home had an equalized assessed value of $20,000 (after the exemptions were deducted) would have had, based on this rate, a tax bill of $1,911.

 

Definitions of Terms Used on Property Tax Bills

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.

Assessed Value - The value placed on property for tax purposes and the basis for determining what portion of the overall tax burden each property owner will bear. Equalization Factor or Multiplier - The equalization factor (sometimes called a multiplier) is the tool used to bring all property to a uniform level of assessment.

Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) - The equalized assessed value, or EAV, is the result of applying the state equalization factor to the assessed value of a parcel of property. Tax bills are calculated by multiplying the EAV (after any deductions for exemptions) by the tax rate.

Exemption - The removal of property from the tax base. An exemption may only be a portion of the equalized assessed value, such as a homestead exemption, or for the complete amount of the equalized assessed value, such as a church building used exclusively for religious purposes.

Tax Rate - The amount of tax due, stated in terms of a percentage of the tax base. (Example: $6.81 per $100 of equalized assessed valuation (equal to 6.81%). You can obtain this percentage by dividing the levy for a fund by the equalized assessed value for the taxing district. Some funds have a maximum statutory tax rate that may not be exceeded. The sum of the fund rates equals the total district rate.

Taxing District - Any unit of local government, school district or community college district with the power to levy property taxes.

Tax Code - A number used by the county clerk that refers to a specific combination of taxing bodies.

 

Property Tax FAQs

Below are many of the most frequently-asked questions about property taxes.

Why are my taxes so high?

Your taxes may be high (or higher than they were last year) for any or all of three general reasons.

  • Increase in your tax rates due to lower assessments, or a referendum.
  • Your assessment has increased from the prior year.
  • You are not receiving exemptions your are entitled to.

What will happen if I don’t pay my property taxes?

Your taxes will be sold at the annual tax sale.  When your taxes are sold, you will retain the right to redeem your property for two to three years, depending on the type of property. To redeem the taxes, you will have to pay costs and interest in addition to any tax due. Contact the County Clerk’s office for an estimate of the costs.

I did not pay my taxes last year. Where can I find out how much I owe?

Call the Franklin County Clerk at (618) 438-3221 and ask for an estimate of redemption. Give them your parcel number.

What if I have other questions?

For other questions about:

  • Property valuation, exemptions and Board of Review appeals - Call the Franklin County Supervisor of Assessments Office at (618) 438-4331.
  • Tax rates or tax redemption - Call the Franklin County Clerk at (618) 438-3221.
  • Tax bills - Call the Franklin County Treasurer's Office at (618) 438-7311.

Where can I get information on tax sales?

Contact the Treasurer's Office at (618) 438-7311.

When are taxes due?

Contact the Treasurer’s Office at (618) 438-7311 with questions about the current tax collection cycle.

How do I know if my taxes have been sold?

Taxpayers receive a notice before the annual tax sale begins. The letter is sent by the Franklin County Treasurer's Office to inform taxpayers that balances still due will be offered for sale. Once taxes are sold, a notice prepared by the tax buyer, called a "Take Notice," is mailed by the County Clerk's office. This notice is prepared by the delinquent tax purchaser and mailed within the first four and one-half months after the date of sale. The notice before the sale and the Take Notice are sent by certified mail to the last taxpayer of record.

Also, a notice on your current tax bill may provide an indication that your taxes have been sold, or that you have other taxes that are due and that may have been sold or may be available for sale at any time.  If you know or suspect that you have delinquent taxes or that your taxes have been sold, please call the County Clerk's office at (618) 438-3221 to verify the status.

What should I do if my taxes have been sold?

If your taxes have been sold, you should immediately obtain an Estimate of Redemption. This is a calculation of the amount you need to pay to redeem the sale and remove the threat of loss of the property. Once you obtain the estimate, verify that it is for the correct property. You are advised to redeem the taxes immediately, as penalties and fees can increase and can multiply over time. These taxes and any fees and penalties must be paid in full; there are no payment plans applicable to redemption payments.

What should I do if I believe my taxes have been sold in error, or if I have paid my taxes and they have not been credited to my property?

You should immediately contact the Treasurer's Office with any documentation you have to support your claim. You should always keep a copy of the check or money order you used to pay your taxes, as well as any receipts received that will allow you to prove that you paid the full amount on time. This will help with any dispute you have over your property tax payments.

What is a Tax Levy?

It is the annual amount of money a taxing body certifies to the County Clerk to be raised by property taxation.

How much can a Tax Levy increase annually?

A taxing district cannot raise their tax levy more than 5% of the amount of money they receive in taxes from the previous year.  If the district must raise their levy more than 5%, they are required to comply with the Truth-in-Taxation Law.

What is the Truth-in-Taxation Law?

Truth-in-Taxation requires a public hearing to discuss the tax levy if there is an increase of more than 5%.  The public notice of the hearing must be published in the general section of a newspaper in the form of a 1/8th page ad with a heavy black border.  The hearing is informational only; no vote or approval from the public is required. However, the taxing district must present its reasons for increasing the levy and allow the public an opportunity to be heard.

What is a TIF District and how does it affect me?

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts are economic tools used by municipalities to fund development projects. 

The total from your tax bill is the same if you are in or out of a TIF district.  If your property is in a TIF district, you will notice that the TIF tax amount will usually increase each year.  This is because your property usually increases in assessment.  The difference between your bill and a bill that is not in a TIF is that part of your taxes will be distributed to a TIF district instead of to the county, schools, libraries, etc.