Assessment Appeal Deadlines Thus Far

There are thirty days to appeal one’s assessment after publication of real estate assessments.

Here is the schedule for those whose publication has occurred or who publication is set:


The 2012 assessments for McHenry Township will publish on Thursday September 13, 2012 in the Northwest Herald. The final date for filing an appeal will be Tuesday October 15, 2012.

The 2012 Assessments for Dorr Township will publish on Wednesday September 12, 2012 in the Woodstock Independent. The final date for filing an appeal will be Friday October 12, 2012.

The 2012 assessments for Nunda Township will publish on Friday September 7, 2012 in the Northwest Herald. The final date for filing an appeal will be Tuesday October 9, 2012.

The 2012 Assessments for Hartland Township will publish on Wednesday August 29, 2012 in the Woodstock Independent. The final date for filing an appeal will be Friday September 28, 2012.

The 2012 assessments for Alden Township will publish on Wednesday August 22, 2012 in the Northwest Herald. The final date for filing an appeal will be Friday September 21, 2012.

The 2012 Assessments for Greenwood and Seneca Townships will publish on Wednesday August 22, 2012 in the Woodstock Independent. The final date for filing an appeal will be Friday September 21, 2012.

And, here’s the procedure for filing an appeal supplied by Supervisor of Assessments Robert Ross:


Do you have questions about filing an assessment appeal? Click on the following link for an indepth detailed account of the appeal process.


Assessment Appeal Deadlines Thus Far — 23 Comments

  1. Jim – Assessor Ottleys office is telling people the county will probably send them in the middle of October.

  2. Grafton hasn’t been published yet.

    I spoke with someone there this morning and they said possibly by October, mid-October.

    A notice will be on their website..GraftonTownship.Us

    Filing an appeal is also free and Grafton will actually help you do it!

    Thought that was pretty helpful of Bill Ottley and his staff!

  3. Even more helpful would’ve been accurate assessments so people wouldn’t have to appeal.

    Think how long you’d shop at a store if the salesperson made it easy to return the wrong item they sold you…

  4. My Township assessment was accurate in my opinion, the County Eaqualized and State Multiplied assessments are what I and my neighbors are fighting.

    Ottley is lowering again and the County is raising the assessments again!

    Ottley is helping me fight this.

    Are you aware, Al Zeillinski, of how the system works?

    Perhaps you should attend one of the many workshops Ottley and his staff are holding.

    I found them on

  5. Al,

    I believe Ottley tried that and the State of IL said the reduction was unfair to the surrounding townships but I could be wrong.

  6. What the assessor did was violate state statutes by not using the mandatory three-year averaging.

    That resulted in the huge boomerang of more than 5% being added to everyone’s assessments during equalization.

    At minimum, it showed an ignorance of the law and resulted in higher, not lower, assessments for Grafton Township.

    “Accurate assessments” refer to more frequent assessments than the annual (or worse yet quadrennial) assessments required by law.

    Taxpayers deserve more than just the mandatory basics (especially in unstable markets).

  7. Mr. Zielinski

    Before you state that Mr. Ottley’s numbers are wrong…you might want to find out the truth. In 21 years, he has never missed a year of qualifying for the state issued bonus for assessment accuracy. I’m sure he can prove it too, since I know you like proof. He told us this when I attended his class for appealing last week!

    Why don’t you give him a call, and find out what you are getting yourself into?

    You might find that he is darn good at what he does.

    And you might be out of your league if you think no one will appeal, even if every assessment was 100% accurate in the whole state!!!!

    Tax rates went up last year, people WILL appeal, to try and get reductions no matter what the numbers say. You are kidding yourself if you believe otherwise.

    And Mr. Ottleys office staff – was more than helpful.

  8. Why should you have to use a 3 year average, when the Board of Review only says I have to prove my value as of January 1st of the current assessment year when I appeal?

    Seems like there are two different rules – one for assessors, and one for people that appeal?

    I appealed last year, and was lowered a lot more than 5% by the board. Seems like Ottley had it right based on the board of review decision I ended up with.

  9. If the assessor’s numbers were “accurate” (defined as being representative of true market value) people wouldn’t be appealing in record numbers.

    Also, if the assessor’s numbers were “accurate,” the Board of Review wouldn’t be finding in favor of the owners as often as they do.

    Fudging numbers to feign “accuracy” (defined as being close to 33 1/3% of a sales ratio study) and thereby getting bonuses at the expense of taxpayers shouldn’t be something of which the assessor is proud.

    The three year average is mandatory because it’s a state statute.

    35 ILCS 200/1-55: one-third of the fair cash value of property, as determined by the Department’s sales ratio studies for the 3 most recent years preceding the assessment year, adjusted to take into account any changes in assessment levels implemented since the data for the studies were collected.

    There are ways to achieve compliance with state statutes AND achieve market value parity BUT they require a lot of hard work.

    Some people will file baseless appeals just like some people will cheat on their taxes.

    I’m referring to appeals that have a factual basis and therefore a chance of winning.

    I’ve yet to speak with anyone who would appeal if they believed their assessments accurately reflected their properties’ values.

    All in all, people are honest and therefore just want to be treated that way.

    Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to spend time appealing just to get what they should already be getting by paying the assessor’s salary.

  10. You failed to address the fact that appeals only have to prove one specific value as of Jan. 1st of the current year, with no regard to the previous three years with McHenry County’s Board of Review.

    There are two different standards in our county. Ottleys office has record appeals, because all of McHenry County has record appeals.

    Tax payers have figured out that in a declining market, it is easy to win an appeal. If you only have to prove the lowest of the three years average…then why not appeal and get rid of the first two years numbers that are bringing up your assessment.

    Ottley recognizes this, and if you look on his website, even wrote a letter to state officials about it. THIS IS WHY you have record numbers of appeals in McHenry County – the people, and Ottley have identified a loophole and are jumping through it in those record numbers.

    If you have done any appeal work in McHenry County with the Board of Review – you already know this, and are just skewing the so-called facts to help your campaign.

    So you might as well stop slinging mud and trying to make Ottley look bad. He is the only government employee in Grafton that actually tries to help taxpayers on a daily basis!

    Don’t believe it? Read the rules on filing an appeal for McHenry County. They are different than Kane where taxpayers there have to use 3 years worth of sales to prove their value.

    And you Al, you really should attend his class.
    Call and find out why he fights for all people to have a fair assessment, and not just those that appeal. You might even end up being one of his fans.

  11. I appealled because of the County raising Ottley’s numbers!

    What part of that can you NOT comprehend?

    I believe that the only one you are fooling is yourself.

    Attend a class at Ottley’s office, you will be surprised at his knowledge on the matter.

    There is a reason he has been doing this for so long!

  12. Wait, YOU said NO APPEALS by your second term.

    Now, YOU are saying people WILL APPEAL?

    Which is it?

    Come on already, we heard these “Promises of grandeur” with Linda too! Sorry AL, I got to call you out on that one.

    Ottley gets the vote here!

  13. WOW, I left a comment around 8:30 a.m., it is now 1:00 p.m. and it still hasn’t been posted!

  14. When one uses a new name, the program I use requires me to approve the first post.

    On this story, there are a lot of people using new names.

  15. We now deal with two competing standards of property-tax valuation, one statutory and one not.

    The equalization standard: referenced earlier, this statutory standard requires assessed values to be balanced at one-third of the market for the three years prior to the assessment year. For 2012, this means that assessments will reflect the average market for years 2009, 2010, and 2011. To further simplify to a single date, the date of valuation would, more or less, be July 1, 2010.

    The appeals standard as currently applied: the competing standard, not reflected in statute but applied by the board of review, uses a date of January 1, 2012, pretty much BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT PROPERTY OWNERS EXPECT THE MARKET-REFERENCE DATE TO BE. However, the assessor is unable to use that date, as expanded upon below.

    Separated by 18 months, the two standards conflict in any market that is not flat-line, whether an up-market or down-market. Thus, the statutory equalization date is almost 3 years old by the time a taxpayer opens their real estate tax bill and refers to the “Fair Cash Value” on the bill. Further, when he or she receives the assessment notice, that number is more than two years old.

    This is not an issue in an up market, because it leads most property owners to think the assessed value is lower than it should be were the market at the time the notice or bill is opened used. This is where the old folk wisdom the-assessment-system-purposely-undervalues-property came from.

    However, from a down market, a new folklore springs, the if-the-assessor-was-doing-the-job-right-there-woud-be-no-reason-to-appeal wisdom. The fact is that, if the assessor were to value property at one-third of January 1, 2012 (for the 2012 year), the statutory equalization system would auto-correct to walk all values back 1½ years to July 1, 2010. Actually, this is something Mr Ottley attempted in 2010 after local equalization, with the approval of the chief county assessment officer, I might add, and a great deal of havoc was raised.

    The only way the board of review can deploy the non-statutory January 1 standard is if a subset of all property owners files complaints. We can notice the effect the form of a state equalization factor that is positive in 2010 and 2011 for the first times since 1982, as the state factor corrects for the board of review reductions that throw the overall values out of synch with the statutory equalization standard. The more owners who file complaints successfully, the higher the corrective state factor.

    So, due to the current conflict between statutory and non-statutory valuation standards, the board of review offers a deal the assessor cannot offer. Those who do not appeal suffer for it, and they are right to think it should not be that way.

    The state constitution, in Article IX says one thing about property taxes, that they “shall be levied UNIFORMLY by valuation ascertained as the General Assembly shall provide by law.” This is not what we have right now.

  16. Or the same person using new names…

    If posters had the courage to use their own names, these forums would be much more useful (and less cluttered).

    The county raised the Grafton Township assessor’s numbers because they were aberrantly low; another way of saying “not accurate.”

    Grafton Township taxpayers were the only ones in McHenry County to suffer that indignity.

    Nothing changed in my promise and it is not “grandeur.”

    My assumption was forthright people would realize I meant zero appeals “with merit.”

    That assumption has held true.

  17. Bob Kunz – you are the assessor from Algonquin Township? Correct?

    As for Al, looks like Kunz just blew your “Ottley was wrong” theory out of the water. Says he even had the Chief County Assessors approval.

    You are now contradicting not only your “Zero Appeals” promise, but seems like you are being proven wrong about Ottleys valuations too.

    This is why an Assessor is an Assessor, and an Appraiser is NOT!

    You should perhaps consider working in an assessors office before trying to run one where you can MESS UP my tax bill.

    It might serve me and my community better.

    You can still donate part of your earnings to the food pantry if you want though.

    Perhaps Ottley or Kunz is hiring?

  18. Hey Al, just take the class already!

    Everybody learns something new from time to time, nothing to be embarrassed about or get snippy about. You just don’t have the grasp, or the facts, of the actual history.

    Talk to Bill, don’t just sling mud because you want his job. The guy knows his stuff.

    Get a clue…..Yes, Bob Kunz is the Algonquin Twp. Assessor

  19. Mr. Kunz is the Algonquin Township Assessor who, by properly doing his job, REDUCED his township’s Urban Equalized Value $294,000,000. Yes, Algonquin Township DECREASED almost $300,000,000.

    The Grafton Township Assessor, who, by NOT properly doing his job, forced an INCREASE in his township’s Urban Equalized Value of $60,000,000.

    Three neighboring township Assessors were also properly doing their jobs:
    McHenry Township had a reduction of $154,000,000
    Nunda Township had a reduction of $129,000,000
    Door Township had a reduction of $60,000,000
    Source: McHenry County Office of Assessments Annual Report Assessment Year 2011.

    Property values aren’t that variable among these neighboring townships; some even share the same subdivision developments.

    Three neighboring township Assessors who did their jobs very well properly REDUCED their townships’ Urban Equalized Values by hundreds of millions of dollars.

    If I lived in any of those, I wouldn’t run for election. To the contrary, I’d shake their hands and thank them for their exemplary service.

    Grafton Township suffered because its Assessor wasn’t doing his job and forced an INCREASE in the township’s Urban Equalized Value of $60,000,000.

    Conveying accurate data isn’t mud-slinging; it’s reporting facts of which all Grafton Township taxpayers should be aware.

    Rather than conducting classes informing residents how to compensate for his poor performance, perhaps it’s the Grafton Township Assessor who should take classes so he’d at least be on par with our neighbors.

    16 of 17 McHenry Township Assessor’s properly reduced their urban taxpayer’s EAV last year.

    Only Grafton Township had an increase.

    The data clearly show “the guy DOES NOT know his stuff.”

  20. Why don’t you go back one more year, and look at the numbers for 2010?
    Look at Grafton reductions then.

    Stats can be skewed anyway you want them, bottom line is that Ottley is helping people get fair assessments, and teaching them about IL property tax issues.

    Have you ever met Ottley? Ever had a conversation with him, about why you feel his numbers are wrong, and given him the opportunity for him to explain the history of the assessments to you? Maybe the two of you could have coffee, or even a formal debate, and let the voters decide who they believe is in the right?

    Seeing as how one of the other township Assessors has stated even he knew Ottley was working with the Chief County Assessor…you might give him the benefit of the doubt. Then again, you want his job so I doubt it.

    Politics – doesn’t it just bring out the best in people?

  21. “Benefit of the doubt” isn’t required regarding the performance of the Grafton Township Assessor.

    The data and his presence at a Board of Review hearing speak for themselves.

    The data.

    2011 was the start of a general assessment period which is supposed to provide a clean (and accurate) slate for taxpayers.

    An assessor should get it right in a general assessment year.

    Three neighboring townships sure did (as did 16 of the 17 McHenry township Assessors).

    Only one McHenry township had an increase: Grafton.

    Board of Review appearance

    We agree “one never gets a second chance to make a first impression” so meeting the person is critical in forming a valid opinion about his abilities.

    I met the Township Assessor at a 2011 McHenry County Board of Review hearing regarding a client’s property tax appeal.

    His “performance” as Assessor was appalling.

    (1) The Assessor did not mail his evidence prior to the hearing in compliance with the Board’s rules.
    I objected and my objection was upheld.

    The Assessor was unable to answer the Board’s question as to why it had not been mailed.

    (2) The Assessor didn’t bother to check the MLS prior to the hearing for the appellant’s property’s current status.

    If he had, he would’ve discovered it had been sold!

    (3) Because of his lack of preparation, the Assessor was confused about which sale was before the Board and claimed a previous sale was arms-length even though the PTAX-203 clearly showed it was a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

    The Assessor hadn’t even reviewed the state document relating to the property!

    (4) Based on his lack of preparation/erroneous perspective and still not willing to admit his errors, the Assessor claimed the “correct assessment” was $193,196.

    (5) Obviously, given the data before them, the Board of Review ruled in my client’s favor.
    The Assessor’s “correct assessment” was off my a mere 200%…

    The above case wasn’t a complex issue of three-year averaging; it was pure and simple laziness.

    If an Assessor can’t/won’t prepare adequately to personally represent the Township before the Board of Review, it’s inexcusable.

    His dismal Board of Review appearance, coupled with his penalizing lack of performance toward ALL Grafton Township taxpayers, is what fueled my desire to run.

    My comments are made openly under my own name and are based on published, easily verified data not politics.

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