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Understanding Your Property Tax Bill

Below is information to better help understand your property tax bill, where the money goes, how the bill is calculated, and who to contact with questions.

Understanding the Information on Your Tax Bill
Property taxes in the State of Illinois are collected a year in arrears.  For example, taxes for the 2019 tax year are billed and payable in 2020.  The tax amount paid in 2020 is based on the property value and the tax exemptions for the owner of the property on January 1, 2019. View an example Lake County Property Tax Bill

Where Do My Taxes Go?
The largest portion of your tax bill goes to your school districts.  For the 2019 tax year, collected in 2020, approximately 7% of your total property tax bill goes to the City.  The remainder goes to the other taxing districts as shown in the graphic below.

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One of the City’s core priorities is Fiscal Stability, as such, the City works diligently to manage expenses and diversify its revenue so property taxes are kept as low as possible. Other revenue includes sales tax, state income tax, utility tax, real estate transfer tax, other taxes, permit and license fees, and user charges for water, sewer, parking, and transit services.

The City uses revenues to provide a variety of public service including 24-hour police and fire protection; 24-hour emergency medical response; water, sewer, streets, lighting, and forestry; business retention and attraction; community policing and fire education programs; and comprehensive land use planning. 

How is My Tax Bill Calculated?
Your property tax bill is determined by two things:

  • The property’s equalized assessed value which is determined by local township assessors, who determine the market value of your home.  This value is based on many factors, including your property characteristics, current sales of like homes in your area and a sales ratio study that takes the three previous years’ sales into account.  Generally, your assessment is determined by taking one-third of your market value and subtracting any exemptions to which you may be entitled. 
  • The tax rate which is determined by the Taxing Districts submitting a “Levy” of the amount of money they need to operate in the upcoming year.  
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Who to Contact with Questions
Find out more about your property taxes and how they are calculated by contacting the Lake County Assessment Office at 847.377.2050 or visit www.lakecountyil.gov/2854/Property-Tax-Information