Welcome to the Douglas County Supervisor of Assessments home page.
Property taxes are one of the most misunderstood taxes. I hope this page will alleviate those misunderstandings.
Property tax is the largest single tax in Illinois and is a major source of tax revenue for local government taxing districts. Every person and business in Illinois is affected by property taxes, whether by paying the tax or receiving services or benefits that are paid for by property taxes. Examples of these services are public schools, roads, libraries, police protection, fire protection, township, and county services.
Property tax is a tax that is based on a property’s value. Value is determined by township assessors, chief county assessment officers and local boards of review. Property taxes are collected and spent at the local level only. FYI: “When Illinois became a state in 1818, the Illinois Constitution allowed the state and local taxing districts to tax property in direct proportion to its value. The last year the State of Illinois imposed real estate taxes was 1932. Since then, property tax has been imposed by local government taxing districts.”
Most property is reviewed by the township assessors. The Illinois Department of Revenue assesses railroad operating property, pollutions control facilities, low sulfur dioxide emission coal fueled devices, and regional water treatment facilities. Farmland is assessed according to its agricultural economic value. Agricultural economic value is based on statewide studies of land use under average level management soil productivity, and of the net income of farms in Illinois. Each soil type is rated by the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, according to its ability to produce crops. By statute, a state farmland technical advisory board annually compiles and provides an equalized assessed value per acre per productivity index (PI), which is based on the most recent 5-year averages of gross income, production costs, and specified interest rates.
The township assessor measures and lists all amenities that could contribute to the value of the parcel. Information is then submitted the chief county assessment officer (CCAO) and is entered into our county database. Values are then reviewed by the CCAO and it is determined if a factor should be applied to any or all of the parcels.
Change of assessment notices are generated and mailed or published in the local newspapers. A taxpayer then has 30 days to respond to this.
County boards of review then determine whether local assessing officials have calculated assessed values correctly, equalize assessments within the county, assess any property that was omitted, decides if homestead exemptions should be granted, and reviews non-homestead exemptions applications. Property owners and local taxing districts may appeal unfair assessments to their local county boards of review and, if the owner is dissatisfied with the board’s decision, the State Property Tax Appeal Board or circuit court.