---- — MT. VERNON — Jefferson County has been issued a tentative property assessment equalization factor of 1.0287, according to Brian Hamer, director of the Illinois Department of Revenue.
The property assessment equalization factor, also known as the multiplier, is the method used to achieve uniform property assessment among counties as required by law. The equalization is particularly important because some of the local taxing districts overlap two or more counties — such as school districts, community colleges and fire protection districts. If there were no equalization among counties, substantial inequalities among taxpayers with comparable properties would result.
State law required property in Illinois to be assessed at one-third of its market value. Farm property is assessed differently, with farm homesites and dwellings subject to regular assessing and equalization procedures, but with farmland and farm buildings assessed according to standards based on productivity.
The equalization factor is determined annually for each county by comparing the sales price of individual properties sold over the past three years to the assessed value placed on those properties by the county supervisor of assessments/county assessor.
If the three-year average level of assessment is one-third of market value, the equalization factor will be one. If the average level of assessment is greater than one-third of market value, the factor would be less than one. If the average level of assessments is less than one-third of market value, the factor would be greater than one.
Assessments in Jefferson County are at 32.40 percent of market value, based on sales of properties in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
The equalization factor being assigned is for 2013 taxes payable in 2014.
Last year the equalization factor was 1.
The tentative equalization factor is subject to change if the County Board of Review takes actions which significantly affect the county assessments or if local officials or others can present data showing the Department of Revenue’s estimates of the average level of assessments in the county should be adjusted. A public hearing on the tentative multiplier will be held within 20 to 30 days after the tentative factor is published in a newspaper of general circulation within the county.
A change in the equalization factor does not mean total property tax bills will increase or decrease. Tax bills are determined by local taxing bodies when they request money each year to provide services to local citizens. If the amount requested by local taxing districts is not greater than the amount received in the previous year, then total property taxes will not increase even if assessments may have increased.
The assessed value of an individual property determines what portion of the tax burden a specific taxpayer will assume. That individual’s portion of tax responsibility is not changed by the multiplier.