Mercer Township Assessor

The Assessment Process and The Statutory Role of the Township Assessor

The whole property assessment process can be very confusing and frustrating. One of my goals is to make sure I provide the information you need related to this process, so that you feel as comfortable as possible with how your assessment is determined and what your options are for resolving any issues that you may have.

An important thing to keep in mind is that the Township Assessor is not a tax assessor. The Township Assessor does not estimate, determine, calculate, or bill your property taxes. By law, the Township Assessor cannot make any changes to your taxes.

The Township Assessor’s role in the property tax cycle is to assess (or determine the value of) real property (real estate). This assessed value of a property is based on Illinois State statute that specifies that the assessed value is to be 33 1/3% of the fair market value for that property. A good example would be if the fair market value of a property was $75,000, then the assessed value would be $25,000.

Also, the Illinois Department of Revenue determines the sales ratio studies for the 3 most recent years preceding the assessment year. Please remember that the “fair cash value” does not necessarily mean what your property is worth on today’s market. The value is based on an average of what properties have been selling at for the past three years. This is not the same as an Appraisal, which determines the value of a house based on home sales for the past 6 months to 1 year. An Assessor does what is called mass appraisal. We look at all homes in an area or neighborhood and assess them all together. Suppose three identical homes were sold in three different years: one homeowner bought their home in 2012 for $350,000, another bought in 2013 for $300,000, and the third bought in 2014 for $250,000. These three homes should be assessed at $300,000, or the average of all three housing prices. This law ensures that people will pay taxes based on uniformity, rather than the ups and downs of the housing market.

In order to put an appropriate assessment (assessed value) on a property, my job is to place an Assessment on all properties in Mercer Township. I keep a detailed record of each property. This is commonly known as the Property Record Card (PRC). This PRC contains information about the land, buildings, and other substantial improvements on that property. As a property owner, you are always welcome to come in to my office and request a copy of your PRC. Additionally, there is an on-line property search and PRC function on this website, which will allow you to look up and print your property information 24/7 from any computer connected to the internet.

Once all assessments are completed for a year, they are sent to the Mercer County Supervisor of Assessments. The Supervisor of Assessments has additional statutory responsibilities, including equalization, maintaining exemptions, and clerk of the Board of Review. The Board of Review is a three member panel appointed by the County Board. It is the Board of Review’s responsibility to hear testimony on written appeals on the assessment of any real property in Mercer County, and when deemed justified, to make any adjustments to assessed value of the property. Once the Supervisor of Assessments completes the Board of Review process, the assessments will be certified and then will serve as the base number for the tax calculation process.

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.

 

Related resources

  • Illinois Department of Revenue
  • Mercer County Clerk
  • Mercer County Treasurer
  • Your Local Taxing Bodies (School Districts, Fire Departments, Highway Departments, etc.)