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For many people, the dream of owning their own home signals a major milestone in their life. A place to call one’s own can bring with it a sense of freedom and security, but it also comes with some responsibilities that are unique to home ownership. Paying property taxes is one of these responsibilities. It is useful for new home buyers to understand how these taxes are determined.

Illinois property taxes higher than U.S. average

According to data from Smart Asset, only one state in the nation has property tax rates higher than Illinois. The average rate of property taxes in the state is 2.3%.

Three-year rotation for assessments

The Cook County Assessor’s office explains that it has a set schedule for reviewing property tax assessments in the region. The county is split into three districts: the city of Chicago, the northern suburbs and the southern suburbs. In this year, 2020, the county will review assessments on properties in the southern suburbs. The city of Chicago will be up next year in 2021, followed by the northern region thereafter.

Assessment reviews outside the typical schedule

The county reserves the ability to review a property’s tax assessment value based on substantial changes to the property. Filing a permit for a major reconstruction of a home, for example, may prompt the county assessor to initiate this type of review. Assessment notices are provided to property owners after any reassessment has taken place. Upon receipt of this notice, a property owner may choose to appeal the assessor’s valuation for the property if they feel it is too high.