Plato Township
Plato Township
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The Assessment Process

As the Assessor my job is to place an Assessment on all properties in Plato Township.  An Assessment is “33 1/3% of the fair cash value of property, as determined by the Illinois Department of Revenue sales ratio studies for the 3 most recent years preceding the assessment year.”  Please remember that the “fair cash value” does not necessarily mean what your property is worth on today’s market.  The value is based on an average of what properties have been selling at for the past three years. This is not the same as an Appraisal, which determines the value of a house based on home sales for the past 6 months to 1 year. 

An Assessor does what is called mass appraisal.  We look at all homes in an area or neighborhood and assess them all together.  Suppose three identical homes were sold in three different years: one homeowner bought their home in 2008 for $350,000, another bought in 2009 for $300,000, and the third bought in 2010 for $250,000.  These three homes should be assessed at $300,000, or the average of all three housing prices.   This law ensures that people will pay taxes based on uniformity, rather than the ups and downs of the housing market.

For the 2011 assessments we looked at sales that occurred in 2008, 2009, and 2010.  These sales are analyzed and compared with their assessed values and their sale cost per square foot. These sales are categorized by story height, size, location, models, and so on.  We develop a range of cost per square foot and then make sure all similar homes fall into the same cost per square foot range. By following this method we hope to create a uniform assessment process.

If one home is arbitrarily lowered based on an appraisal that is only looking at 1year or 18 months, or information that is only considering a few sales, then the other surrounding homes would be paying a greater share of the tax burden.

 The ultimate purpose of the assessed value is to proportion the tax burden, as established by the taxing bodies, over all property in a fair and equitable manner.

Janet Roush – CIAO
Plato Township Assessor

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