Property taxes are a contentious topic in Illinois and they are pretty complicated to understand, and even more difficult to explain. What follows are the results of the research I performed by chatting with the Tax Assessors representing Vernon Township and Wheeling Township in Buffalo Grove and the Lake County Treasurer with the hope of providing some clarity.
Buffalo Grove is split between Lake and Cook counties, each taxing residents differently. The Lake County portion of Buffalo Grove is in Vernon Township which has 12 different tax rates ranging from 8.119465 to 9.972825. The three major tax groups are for District 96 – Kildeer Countryside School District, District 102 – Aptakisic Tripp School District and District 103 – Lincolnshire-Prairie View School District, with multiple sub groups for each different school district.
The portion of Buffalo Grove that is located in Cook County, Illinois is in Wheeling Township and District 214, which flows into Buffalo Grove High School. There are 3 tax rates for Cook County Buffalo Grove residents from 11% to 12%.
To help understand how property taxes are calculated, I am including some examples below for the most common tax rates, with some descriptions of the key terms – all examples are for homes with fair market value of $400,000:
Lake County – the tax bill comes out in late April / early May and is payable 50% on June 1st and 50% on September 1st. If you pay your taxes through escrow via your mortgage payment, your lender pays the taxes for you.
Full Fair Cash value – as determined by the Lake County Assessor which is based on sales transactions over the most recent 3 year period. This is typically published in the August – September timeframe and this is what is often grounds for appeal based on an incorrect value.
Assessed value – equals 1/3 of the full fair cash value.
Exemptions – the state of Illinois offers various exemptions to home owners – the most common is the General Homestead exemption which you can deduct for your primary residence. In Lake County, it is $6,000. There are also exemptions available for Seniors, Disabled and Veterans.
Example – Buffalo Grove – Lake County – Vernon Township – D96 – Kildeer Countryside School District
Full Fair Cash Value $400,000
Total Assessed Value (1/3) $133,333
General Homestead Exemption $6,000
Taxable Valuation $127,333
Tax Rate 9.386768%
Real Estate Tax $11,952.48
District Taxable Valuation Tax Rate Tax Bill
D96 $127,333 9.386768 $11,952.48
D102 $127,333 9.222720 $11,743.57
D103 $127,333 8.601049 $10,951.97
Cook County – Property tax bills are mailed twice a year. The first installment is due at the beginning of March. By law, the First-Installment Property Tax Bill is exactly 55% percent of the previous year’s total tax amount. The Second-Installment Property Tax Bill is mailed and due in late summer; it reflects new tax rates, levies, assessments and any dollars saved by exemptions for which you have qualified and applied.
Example – Buffalo Grove – Cook County – Wheeling Township – Township High School District 214
Estimated Market Value $400,000 as determined by the Cook County Assessor
Assessment level 10%
Proposed Assessed Valuation $40,000
State Equalizer 2.9627
Equalized Assessed Value $118,508
Homeowners Exemption $10,000
Adjusted Equalized Assessed Value $108,508
Tax Rate 11.41%
Estimated Tax Bill $12,380.76
So, in the Village of Buffalo Grove, there are 15 different tax rates. For reference, Cook County is higher than the three Lake County jurisdictions.
If you need any assistance with homes outside of Buffalo Grove, feel free to reach out to me or go to the Cook County or Lake County Assessor websites.