When it comes to any safety/crime related issues, it's always best to contact the local police department with all your questions, hear all there is to hear firsthand. If unfamiliar with the area(s) do revisit more than once and at different times of day, possibly chat with locals/neighbors. Real estate professionals are prohibited from steering, enticing a buyer to purchase/rent, or not, in specific neighborhoods.
The simple answer is YES, it is possible. Be careful of advice from people operating in other states. Municipalities have nothing to do with your assessed value in Illinois, they affect the tax RATE which, as John says, you can't adjust. The assessed value in Illinois is supposed to be 1/3 of market value, unlike South Dakota.
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.... more
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