I serve as an alternate hearing officer on the Board of Review for Lake County and Chaired nearly 1,000 hearings last appeal season. You can use the County Assessor's website to check your value verses similar homes that have sold, you can contact a Realtor to find that information or you can hire a tax appeal consultant or an appraiser to do the job. You need to compare to homes of a similar style, size and age in your area that sold within a year before or even a few months after the 'lien date' of January first of the year you're appealing. Selection of the best comps is very important.
When you receive your "blue letter" with your assessed value in the fall visit your Township Assessor's office. Some Assessors are very helpful, some less so. If you are not satisfied with the results of that visit, filing an appeal is very simple. Just follow the rules and directives on the County Assessor's website.
You have 30 days from the date they publish your value to file. Many people do a good job on their own but many do not and would be better served by using a professional. I hope that helps. Good luck.
I live in Mundelein, work out of the Liberrtyville C-B office and can tell you in Lake county Mundelein taxes aren't as bad as some other towns in Lake Co. Incorporated or unincorporated? Are you in the area that feeds Vernon hills hawthorn schools where the taxes are higher because of that school expansion?
You can contest the assessment but not the rate of taxes. The question is are other homes in the area assessed lower than yours? If you can make the case that other homes are assessed lower for same size and type of home, then you have the basis to request a hearing to contest your taxes. Taxes are in arrears in Illinois, so you cannot use 2011 taxes as sold comps and the assessor uses a weighted average of 2008, 2009 and 2010 home values and that house next store that sold for cheap last year cannot be counted until next year as a comp.
There are services that represent you on a contingency fee basis and keep a percentage of the tax savings they get for you. Maybe in SD, Wanda advise would work. In Illinois the onus is on the owner to generate the basis to contest the tax assessment and show disparity with other similar homes.
You would need to contact your local tax assessor's office and file an appeal. Numerous residential homes throughout the country may be overly assessed in value depending upon when their re-evaluation was performed. This is the main criteria for reducing a property's taxes but each municipality operates differently so you need to speak with your local tax assessor's department to determine if you can reduce your property's taxes and what the process is.
Good luck to you!
Prudential Connecticut Realty