Washington Township Assessor

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm buying or have bought a home in the Village of Beecher in 2017, what will my first tax bill be?
In 2017, you can expect your next full-year tax bill to be approximately 3.5% of your purchase price.

What is an assessment?
An assessment is the property value that is officially entered in the county assessment books (sometimes called the “tax roll”). The value is used to determine what portion of the total tax burden each property owner will bear. Your assessed value is 33.33% of the fair market value of your property.

What is market value?
Market value is the amount at which a property would sell for in a competitive and open market, presuming that (1) both the buyer and seller are knowledgeable about the sale and are using sound judgment by allowing sufficient time for the sale and (2) the sale is not affected by undue pressures (e.g., foreclosures, bankruptcy, etc.).

How is market value determined?
One or more of the following three methods is used to determine market value:

Market Data – Similar, neighboring properties that have sold recently are compared to the property being assessed.

Cost – The cost to reproduce (or rebuild) the property is calculated, the amount for depreciation (e.g., wear and tear, age) is subtracted, and land value is then added.

Income – The present worth of the income from an income-producing property is calculated by measuring the amount, quality and durability of the future net income the property can be expected to return to an investor.

How can I tell if my assessor has placed a fair value on my property?
The first method is to compare the fair market value of your property with recent sales of similar properties in your neighborhood. This method is appropriate if you have recently purchased your property or have obtained a professional appraisal. The second method is to compare the assessed value of your property with similar properties in your neighborhood. You can get this information from your township assessor or from the Will County Supervisor of Assessments Office.

How does my assessment affect my tax rate?
It doesn’t. Your tax rate is determined by your local taxing districts, which may include, Village of Beecher, Beecher Public Library, Washington Township, Washington Township Road District, Forest Preserve, Will County, School District 200-U and the Community College District.

How can the value of my property have increased when I haven't done anything to it for many years?
Property value, or market value, is determined by many factors besides home improvements. Improving neighborhoods, how many houses are for sale, and inflation also affect the value of your property. Even though your house isn't for sale, it can be worth more because of these conditions. It is the Assessor's job to determine what your property would be worth if it was now for sale.

Why do similar houses in different neighborhoods have different assessments? 
The houses are valued differently because their actual market values vary. The market values are different because the real estate market conditions are different. Location plays an important part in establishing market value. General location, distance from schools and commercial facilities, quality of surrounding properties, and neighborhood amenities are examples of factors that could and would cause a purchaser to pay more for a home in one neighborhood than in another.

My taxes are too high!
That may be true, but don't necessarily blame it on the property assessment or the Assessor. Their job is to estimate the value of every property in the township as close to 1/3 of market value as possible. This will assure that each taxpayer will bear a "fair share" of the tax burden. The amount of taxes is determined by the voters, the municipalities, school boards, and other taxing bodies in the area.

Can I examine the Assessor's records to be sure they have the correct information on my house?
Yes. If you would like to review your Record Card, stop in to the Assessor's office at the Washington Township Center. With a few specific exceptions, all assessment files are open to the public. Not only is information about your home available, records about other homes in the area are also accessible. The Township Assessor's personnel will help you retrieve the information needed, as well as answer questions regarding the assessment or how to read the information.

Does the Assessor raise the assessment if I paint my house? 
No. Most normal maintenance of the home will not raise the assessment. Additions to the home, such as; in ground swimming pools, decks, porches, or fireplaces, etc., may add considerable value to the home and may increase the assessment.

What do I do if I do not agree with the assessment?
The best place to start is by contacting the Assessor's Office in person or by phone. We will listen to why you feel there is a problem with the assessment, and explain our position. Most problems are cleared up after talking to the Assessor, but if you are still not satisfied a complaint may be filed with the Will County Board of Review.

When I get my tax bill, is it too late to appeal?
Generally yes. It is too late to appeal for that assessment year, unless you have already filed with the Board of Review. It might still be beneficial to talk with the Assessor, if you have not done so already, for the current assessment year.

If I purchase my home for more than it is assessed, will my assessment get raised to the sale price?
Not necessarily. Properties are studied in neighborhoods, not individually. If other sales besides yours in the neighborhood were typically higher, then an assessment increase would be warranted. If the Assessor was to increase individual assessments because of sales, inequity would be created in the neighborhood.