Why did my property taxes go up?

It’s the most common question we receive after we mail tax bills. And it’s understandable. The housing market has been in decline. Some properties are worth less today than a few years ago. It doesn’t make sense, and, honestly, it’s not very easy to answer.

Calculating property taxes is a complicated process that involves many elected officials and their staffs.

  1. Members of the General Assembly who write tax law
  2. Locally Elected Township Assessors who assess your property
  3. Locally Elected Officials such as School, Park, Libraries, and Village Trustees who set tax levies
  4. Locally Elected County Board Members who also set tax levies
  5. The Will County Clerk who calculates your tax payment
  6. The Supervisor of Assessment who applies exemptions

And this is just a partial list.

Basically, your Township Assessor determines your property’s Net Equalized Value, or NEV. The County Clerk takes the NEV and calculates it against each tax levy set by your locally elected boards. The County Clerk also subtracts exemptions that the Supervisor of Assessment approves for your property.

Once the County Clerk completes the calculations (the formal name is “extension”), we take the data and print your bill and mail it to your address of record.

The Will County Treasurer’s Office only mails the bill, collects the tax, and distributes it to the local taxing districts (such as schools, parks, etc.). We are just the messenger, you might say.

But why did your property tax increase if your home value decreased?

For the most part, a higher tax bill is the result of a higher tax rate set by a taxing district. A higher tax rate can offset a decline in NEV. Of course, this is a simple answer. Your case may have other variables involved. You should contact the Supervisor of Assessment to discuss your specific situation.

(By the way, the Supervisor’s contact page reminds you that they do not answer questions about tax payments.  That’s correct.  They answer questions about how the county arrived at the tax amount due, which is why we refer those questions.)

In the mean time, I hope this provides you with a basic answer to the question.

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6 Responses to Why Did My Property Taxes Go Up?

  1. beverly robinson says:

    why is our tax rate so much higher than other areas. it cannot be based on the home style . there are very few homes in our area that even have basements and yet our tax rate has jumped to 8.10.

    • Beverly,

      It’s difficult to answer your question because I don’t know where you live. If you would like an answer about your specific situation, please call the Will County Supervisor of Assessments at 815-740-4648.

  2. Joe Cammarata says:

    How did the School District Oswego 308 tax rate increase so much? I thought there was a school tax rate freeze at 5.06% It is now over 5.8%? How is this possible?

    • Joe,

      We can’t answer your question about why rates move up or down. Honestly, we don’t know. Please contact the school district about the rate because they will be the ones who set it. For rate freezes, the Supervisor of Assessment could help too.

  3. Chris Hedges says:

    For the past 5 years my exemptions have been near the $20,000 range. For 2010 it dropped to $6000. What caused this drop that caused my taxes to skyrocket?

    • Chris,

      The Will County Supervisor of Assessment is responsible for property tax exemptions. You should speak with someone in their office. The number is 815-740-4648.

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