Hours of Operation:

Monday – Friday 8:30AM – 3:00PM

Contact Info:

Marcy Lawerence

108 4th Avenue

Sterling, IL 61081

815-625-7410

assessor@sterlingtownship.com

 

 

 

Q: Can I get assistance with the submission of Exemption forms?

The Sterling Township Assessor Office can help with the Senior Renewal Exemption and the Senior Freeze, and these exemptions must be submitted yearly. Application forms are not necessary for the Home Improvement Exemption. All other exemptions, including the first time Senior Exemption, must be completed in Morrison at the Courthouse in the Office of Supervisor of Assessments. The Sterling Township Assessor’s office is available to assist with and notarize Senior Renewal Exemption forms and Senior Freezes Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. and/or will get the forms to Morrison; they are due July 1. The Sterling Township Assessor’s office staff is also present on Mondays at the Senior Center in Sterling from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. to assist with Senior Renewal Exemption forms and Senior Freezes. Homeowners can get permits from the City or County when improving or demolishing a property. A permit prompts the City or County to notify the Assessors office which initiates a field inspection to verify the details of the demolition or new construction. To qualify for the Home Improvement Exemption the property must be owned and used exclusively for a residential purpose and be your permanent full time residence. Assessed Values are modified to account for demolition and/or any new construction to your property that increases its market value. If there is new construction, the Home Improvement Exemption is then processed. Submission of forms for the Home Improvement Exemption is not necessary.

 

Q: Where do my taxes go?

Property taxes are levied, collected, and spent locally to finance a major part of the services that units of local government provide to their residents.Services provided by the property tax:•Education•Municipalities•Counties•Parks•Sanitary Districts•Township Governments•Other Special DistrictsLocal government units (e.g., municipalities, townships, counties, schools, park districts) use property tax to finance the majority of services that they provide to their citizens. The largest share of local property tax (62 percent) goes to school districts for education. Other public services include police and fire protection, street maintenance, and recreation.

 

Q: How can assessments go up if the market isn’t going up ?

Even in a down market, assessments can rise for the following reasons: By state law, assessments reflect the past three year’s sales and are based on a valuation day of January 1st of the current year. Therefore, they would not reflect the current market conditions. If you had a recent addition or improvement to your property, the assessment will change accordingly. On homestead property a home improvement exemption will be granted for 4 years, this reduction will be reflected on your tax bill

 

Q: What can I do if I feel I am being over-assessed ?

The first step is to determine if your assessment is out of line with the market by using an appraisal, or reviewing sales of comparable homes. Remember that these sales should have occurred within the prior three years. If your assessment reflects a value higher than the market, contact the Whiteside County Supervisor of Assessments office.

 

Q: How do I file a Complaint with the Board of Review ?

All complaints (appeals) to the Board of Review must be submitted in writing within 30 days of township publications which is typically September or October.

 

Q: Will my assessment increase because I recently purchased my home ?

Typically, your assessment will not be increased simply based on a recent sale. Assessments generated for taxation purposes are to be valued using mass appraisal techniques, not on an individual property basis. This means we are required to look at trends in the market of similar homes. An individual sale may have unique influences that do not apply to other homes.

 

Q: Why does my neighbor pay different taxes when we have similar homes ?

It is important that you compare assessed values instead of tax bills. 1) There are different exemptions available and they do not apply to all taxpayers. Your neighbor’s taxes may be lowered due to an exemption that you are ineligible to receive. 2) Newly constructed homes are assessed based on a completion date. If the house was completed in the middle of a calendar year, the home will be assessed on a prorated basis for that first tax billing cycle. 3) Even if you have the same model of home as someone else, the property’s value can vary due to location and amenities. Developers often make upgrades/options available to their base homes. We need to account for these differences.

 

Q: What will happen to my assessment if I put on an addition or add an improvement ? Any new construction to your property that increases its market value must be reflected in your assessed value. This may include decks, patios, sun rooms, finished basements, expanding living space, etc. Our office receives copies of building permits which initiates a field inspection to verify the details of the new construction. To qualify for the Home Improvement Exemption the property must be owned and used exclusively for a residential purpose and be your permanent full time residence. The State of Illinois allows for an exemption on these improvements for a term of 4 years. The adjustment for this exemption will be applied on your tax bill. There is a $25,000 cap in assessed value (or $75,000 if full value) on the amount of value to be exempted.