Lake County Appeal’s residential clients frequently ask: Should I sign up every year? Our answer is always the same (regardless of whether we found a property to be fairly assessed in the previous year or filed a successful appeal): Yes, you should sign-up every year for the following reasons:
- Assessed values and home sale prices change each year. Each year, Lake County Appeal files hundreds of successful appeals for properties that we determined were fairly assessed in the prior year. Each year, Lake County Appeal also files hundreds of successful appeals for properties for which Lake County Appeal got a reduction in the previous year;
- Our up-front fee is a small percentage of your Lake County property tax bill. Moreover, our long-term clients sign-up every year because one never knows in which year Lake County Appeal will be able to obtain a property tax reduction for them, but they have found that Lake County Appeal will eventually be able to. The property tax savings in that year will, in all likelihood, be far greater than the sum of the annual assessment review fees and the contingent fee, thereby putting the client way “ahead of the game”;
- Appeal or not, taxes in Lake County are oppressively high, and the only way in which we, as taxpayers, have a direct say in how much we pay in property taxes is when we ensure the correct valuation of our properties. Our review service allows our clients to make certain that, although their taxes are high, they are paying their fair share and no more, which can bring peace of mind; and
- Signing up is especially important in 2023, which is historically known as the “quadrennial reassessment”, or the “quad.” (Now Lake County calls it a “general assessment year”, which is not nearly as descriptive.) In the non-quadrennial assessment years (i.e., 2024, 2025, and 2026), assessors are required to review assessments and make minor changes where necessary and to assess all new property constructed during that year. But in quadrennial reassessment years, such as 2023, the assessors are required to view every assessment in detail and revalue all properties based on market conditions (i.e., market values).
Signing up in the first year of the quad is not only vital because the assessors reassess every property (often erroneously), but signing up this year is also crucial because a reduction can last for four years…If Lake County Appeal secures a 2023 reduction in the assessed value of your primary residence, Illinois law will not allow an increase in the assessed value for the rest of the quadrennial (i.e., 2024, 2025 and 2026) except by means of applying a multiplier, which is essentially an inflationary adjustment to reflect increases in property values in your township.