North Shore Views
Archive for the 'Living here' Category
It’s tax appeal time again, and most of us are confused about our property taxes. Why do taxes go up when when home values have gone down? How is my property tax bill calculated? What do they do with the money?
Here’s a small primer on the whole nasty subject, with answers to some of your most burning questions.
Who is in charge of our taxes? Who decides how much we owe and who collects it?
- The Cook County Assessor value properties, administers exemptions, issues certificates of error for refunds and is the first avanue for assessment appeal.
- The Cook County Treasurer issues the tax bills, collects the taxes, administers the tax deferral program, issues refunds and handles delinquencies and tax sales.
- The Cook County Clerk provides information on prior years’ taxes, certifies the tax rates of the levying bodies and handles the tax redemption process.
How is my real estate tax bill calculated?
- While your assessment determines the share of property taxes you pay, your local taxing bodies determine the overall amount of your taxes by their spending.
X State Equalizer
- Any Exemptions
X Local Tax Rate
= Tax Bill
- The assessed value is the only number in the formula that you can appeal. In Cook County it equals about 10% of market value.
- The State Equalizer is applied to Cook County assessments to balance them with the rest of the State, which assesses at 33% of market value.
- The tax rates are determined by the amount spent by various government bodies.
How can my taxes go up when my home’s value has gone down?
- Your home’s assessed value is just one part of the equation (above). Your property taxes go to pay for your schools and local municipality. Their expenses don’t go down even if property values do, so they change the other parts of the equation so that they still get the money they need to fund those things.
When are real estate taxes paid?
- In Illinois taxes are always paid one year in arrears.
- Tax bills are paid twice a year, in March and in the fall.
- The first bill is an estimate. It is 55% of the previous year’s total bill.
- The second bill reflects any adjustments from reassessment or appeal, any changes in the tax rate or State equalizer and deductions for exemptions.
What are the taxpayer exemptions?
Exemptions provide reductions in the equalized assessed value of the property, based on specific qualifications.
- Homeowner exemption
- Senior Citizen examption
- Senior freeze exemption
- Long time occupant exemption
- Home improvement exemption
- Returning veterans’ exemption
- Disabled verteran’s exemption
- Disabled person’s exemption
How is your property assessed?
- Because of the large number of parcels, the Cook County Assessor is unable to evaluate each parcel individually, or even annually. Mass appraisal techniques are used, and assessment is done every three years.
- Taking into consideration the property size, location and construction, properties are sorted or “classified.” The Assessor then compares the sales prices of similar homes within each neighborhood to arrive at an assessment.
- Sales price and the square footage of your home are the two most important factors that determine its assessed value.
How do I appeal my assessment?
- You are entitled to appeal every year.
- You should always take time to evaluate your assessment in the triennial years (that’s 2013 for New Trier Township).
- You do not need an attorney to file an appeal.
- Forms and assistance are available at your County Courthouse or Township Assessor’s office, and on the internet at:
What constitutes grounds for appeal?
- Lack of uniformity – comparison to other homes in your class and neighborhood based on dollar per square footage
- An error in the description of the property that affects square footage – Based on exterior measurement excluding garage, basement and unfinished attics
- Overvaluation (assessed value is more than 10% of market value, based on recent sale or appraisal.
- Vacancy/Demolition/Fire Damage
Who Decides Appeals?
- The Cook County Assessor’s office is the first avenue of appeal. Each township is granted a 30-day filing window each year.
- The Cook County Board of Review is the second avenue of appeal. They open following the Assessor’s process, provide a 20-day filing window annually for each township and offer an in-person hearing option.
- The Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board is the third avenue for appeal. You must have filed with either the County Assessor or the Board of Review first for it to accept your case. It has the power to lower or raise your assessement and is located in Springfield.
- The Cook County Circuit Court is the final option for appeal, and you must choose between it and the Property Tax Appeal Board.
So what does the New Trier Township Assessor Do?
Despite their name, the township assessors do not assess. They provide liaison services between their constituents and the Cook County Assessor’s office and work to ensure assessments are fair and equitable. Their services include:
- Assistance with appeals
- Assistance with exemptions and refunds
- Sales and building permit information
- Taxpayer of record information
- Detailed property assessment info and property descriptions
- Property tax identification numbers (PINs)
- Tax exempt property listings
- Plat maps
- Tax rate information
May 28 is the deadline for property tax appeals in New Trier Township. If you need any help at all with the process, the New Trier Assessor will help you out, and the service is free. Go to the New Trier Township offices at 739 Elm st., Winnetka, call 847-446-8202 or visit their website.
The Come Home North Shore real estate team is sponsoring the second annual Kenilworth Gardens Neighborhood Yard Sale on Saturday, May 18.
If you live in the neighborhood and want to participate, it’s easy. All you have to do is drop us a line and tell us you want in, then put prices on your merchandise, drag it outside and welcome the hoards of buyers that are bound to show up on sale day. That’s it. We’ll supply the signs and the advertising to ensure we get a good turnout.
If you’re not from the neighborhood, we hope you’ll stop by and check out all the wonderful “merchandise” we’ll be selling. I’m sure you’ll see lots of stuff you didn’t know you needed!
Here are the details:
When: Saturday, May 18 from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Where: Hunter, Beechwood, Kenilworth, Chestnut, Thornwood, Greenwood and Elmwood (north of Lake Ave. and west of Ridge Rd.) in Wilmette
What to know more? Give us a call at 847-881-6657 or email us.
Enjoy Guided Bird Walks in Gillson Park beginning May 5 and continuing each Sunday in May.
The Illinois shoreline juts farthest into Lake Michigan at Gillson Park, making it an excellent spot to observe warblers and other migrant birds as they rest and eat during their long journey north every spring. Beginners and experienced birders of all ages are welcome to join the free, annual guided bird walks sponsored by Go Green Wilmette and the Wilmette Park District.
Where: Meet at the top of the Wallace Bowl near the Lakeview Center in Wilmette’s Gillson Park. Don’t forget your binoculars and bird books.
Are you ready to rummage? The North Shore’s spring rummage sale season starts tomorrow!
Saturday, April 20
Winnetka Covenant Church, 1200 Hibbard Rd., Wilmette
8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Saturday, April 27
St. Athanasius Catholic School, 2510 Ashland St., Evanston
8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4
Is your child ga-ga about horses? Has she been begging you to give her riding lessons? Is there a pony on her Christmas list every year? If you’ve finally decided to let her try horseback riding, you’ll want to look into Palladia Farm summer camp.
Palladia Farm’s horse day camp is a great way to introduce your child to riding and horsemanship in a safe, nurturing and fun environment. At this camp, the kids don’t just learn to ride, they learn everything about caring for and working with horses safely and properly: how to lead the horse, groom him, put on saddle and bridle, mount safely, navigate the ring and clean the tack. Beginners will start by getting comfortable riding at a walk and trot, while more advanced students will add cantering and even jumping to their skills. Other activities include learning how to recognize different breeds and identify common equine ailments, as well as scavenger hunts and contests. Students receive one 30-45 minute private lesson daily.
There are six 4-day sessions throughout the summer. Each session includes no more than 8 students, so that each camper can develop an individual relationship with the horses and the instructors.
June 4-7, 2013, 9am-1:30pm (Tues-Fri)
June 11-14, 2013, 9am-1:30pm (Tues-Fri)
June 25-28, 2013, 9am-1:30pm (Tues-Fri)
July 23-26, 2013, 9am-1:30pm (Tues-Fri)
July 30-Aug 2, 2013, 9am-1:30pm (Tues-Fri)
Aug 6-9, 2013, 9am-1:30pm (Tues-Fri)
Each 4-day session costs $500.00.
After completing a camp session(s), children can continue to develop their skills at Palladia Farm’s riding school, which runs year round. There are also adult riding classes. Boarding (for horses, not kids!) is also available.
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Back by popular demand! It’s the third annual Thornwood Park Egg Hunt, this Saturday morning, March 30, at 9:45.
Voted the #1 egg hunt on the North Shore by Kenilworth Gardens neighborhood kids, you won’t want to miss it. It looks like we’ll have decent weather for the hunt. Not as warm as last year but partly sunny and 50 degrees, which is definitely an improvement over recent temps.
The Thornwood Park Egg Hunt is hosted by the Come Home North Shore real estate team for kids 10 and under. Be sure and bring your camera to take pictures with the Easter Bunny. And don’t forget to bring a basket for collecting your eggs. We’ll have prizes for the kids and a drawing for the parents.
Who: Kids 10 and under (but don’t worry, we aren’t going to card your kid)
Where: Thornwood Park in Wilmette (2400 Thornwood Ave. – catty-corner to Harper School)
When: Saturday, March 30. The hunt will start at 10:00 am SHARP! ( If you are even 5 minutes late you will miss it.) So come early to meet the Easter Bunny, guess the number of jelly beans in the jar and enter our drawing for a fabulous prize.
Why: Because it’s fun, of course!
Stuck with a stay-cation this year? Don’t worry – there are lots of fun things to do with the kids, from camps, to concerts to egg hunts. And it’s all right here on the North Shore:
Spring Egg Hunt
Saturday, March 23
Watts Park, 305 Randolph Ave., Glencoe
Kids’ Concert Series: Super Stolie
Saturday, March 23 ar 10:00 am
Wilmette Theatre, 1122 Central Ave., Wilmette
Tickets: $10 in advance; $12 at the door. wilmettetheatre.com
Doggie Egg Hunt
Saturday, March 23
Dogs under 30 lbs: 9:00 am
Dogs over 30 lbs: 10:00 am
Centennial Park, Winnetka
This is an afternoon of fun and educational activities for all ages. See the latest eco cars, commuter bikes, and home energy efficiencies. Enjoy nature activities for children and adults, cooking demonstrations and good food. Try your luck at the raffle. Find out what’s in your cosmetics and your food. Get advice about composting, rain gardens, or the best light bulbs for your home. Bring old electronics, Styrofoam and gently used children’s books for recycling. To volunteer, exhibit or see details go to: www.goinggreenmatters.org.
When: Sunday, March 10 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm
Where: Woman’s Club of Wilmette, 930 Greenleaf Ave., Wilmette
2225 Noyes St., Evanston, IL 60201
Are you thinking of buying a condo but can’t stand the thought of living in a high rise or vanilla box condo with no outdoor space? Need a pet friendly place for you and Rover? Then this adorable little house might be for you.
This one-bedroom home at 2225 Noyes Street in NW Evanston is 616 square feet of pure charm, plus plenty of outdoor space, including a nice yard and brick patio It’s one of the original Sears Roebuck catalog house, constructed in 1917 from ready-to-assemble pieces. It was certainly a quality product, as it’s solid as a rock despite being almost 100 years old.
Although it’s small, the house has everything you need: a recently updated kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and a “great room” for dining, watching TV and entertaining. In warm weather you can enjoy the screened porch overlooking the backyard and patio. The basement has plenty of room for laundry and storage, and comes with a heated greenhouse as an added bonus for plant lovers.
The home is being offered at $310,000. You can go here for more info. Or give us a call at 847-881-6657 if you’d like to see it.
That’s the case this coming Sunday, February 24th when The Howard Levy Quartet will perform at Winnetka Congregational Church’s third annual Jazz Vespers.
You may not have heard of Howard Levy, but he is probably the world’s foremost harmonica jazz virtuoso and has won two Grammy Awards for his artistry. Said Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune, “Certainly no one playing jazz harmonica these days approaches the technical wizardry, stylistic breadth and improvisational creativity of Levy.” Read the rest of this entry »