The Illinois Real Estate Property Tax System follows a repeating tax cycle. This tax cycle is a set of processes or phases. The steps below is an approximate chronological list of phases that take place over approximately two years. You will note the term current assessment year and next calendar year to distinguish the time difference when the same months are mentioned. These phases of the tax cycle only highlight the particular process of the tax cycle given priority during the tax cycle. The reappraisal or reassessment process is always on going. Data is continually being documented regarding sales, new construction, new improvements to existing property, property divisions or consolidations, etc.
Prior to beginning of each new year usually in December of the year just ending the Supervisor of Assessment for the county holds a meeting with all township assessors. At this meeting information regarding any new laws that effect the assessment process is explained. Also any tentative assessment multipliers dictated by the Illinois Department of Revenue's Sales Ratio Study are given to each respective township. Read topic "Why Property is Reassessed Each Year" for a detailed explanation.
- January to July is the township assessor's phase. New property is documented and put on the assessment roll. Reassessment due to the Sales Ratio Study and for maintaining equity is completed.
- July and August is the Supervisor of Assessment's (S/A) phase. The supervisor of assessments reviews the township assessor's work mainly that reassessment of existing property meets amount indicated by the DOR's Sale Ratio Study. If it does not a township multiplier is applied at the county level against all properties in the township to meet this number. Assessors can still submit assessment revisions for new construction or factual errors only during this period. The S/A sends out reassessment notices and publishes assessments in paper.
- September to December is the Board of Review (BOR) phase. Property owners have thirty days from the date the assessments are published in the paper to file an Assessment Appeal with the Board of Review. The Board of Review documents the appeals, notifies the assessor, and schedules hearing dates for appeals. The BOR typically mails there appeal decisions in January of the following year. Remember property tax bill is always based on the prior years assessment. Assessor reviews assessment appeals and prepares evidence on behalf of the township for the hearing.
- November to December is the Taxing Body's Levy phase. Each taxing body must submit there tax levy in the month of December to the County Clerk's Office. The Levy is a taxing body's budget minus other income sources or the amount of money to be raised from the property tax.
- January to May of the next calendar year the County Clerk's Office calculates the Tax Rates for each Tax Code in all townships.
- May of the next calendar year the County Treasurer Mails out tax bills due in two installments. The first half is due June 1, and the second is due September 1 of the next tax year.
- Sometime during the next calendar year usually between September and December the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board conducts its hearings for appeals for the previous assessment year. If a decision in favor of the property owner a tax refund will be mailed by the County Treasurer.