Richmond Township Assessor

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why has the value of my property increased when I haven't done anything to it for many years?
A: Improving your home is not the only factor taken into consideration in determining property value, or market value. How many houses are for sale, improving neighborhoods, and inflation can also affect the value of your property. Even though your house isn't for sale, it can be worth more because of these conditions.

Q: Why do similar houses in different neighborhoods have different assessments?
A: Market values vary, causing houses to be valued differently. Real estate market conditions are the cause of market values being different. Location plays an important part in establishing market value. A home’s general location, distance from schools and commercial facilities, quality of the surrounding neighborhood and its amenities are examples of the factors that could cause a purchaser to pay more for a home in one neighborhood than in another.

Q: Why are my taxes so high?
A: The job of the Assessor is to estimate the value of your property to 33 1/3% of its market value, not to produce your property tax bill. The amount of taxes is determined by the voters, the municipalities, school boards, police and fire departments, and other taxing bodies in the area.

Q: Does the Assessor raise my assessment if I do normal maintenance on my house?
A: Most normal maintenance of the home will not raise the assessment (i.e., painting your home or replacing your roof). Additions to your home, decks or porches, in ground swimming pools, etc., will add value to your home and may increase the assessment.

Q: When I get my tax bill, is it too late to complain?
A: In most cases yes, it is too late to appeal for that assessment year, unless you have already filed with the Board of Review. You can always come in and talk with our staff for the next assessment year.

Q: If I purchase my home for more than it is assessed, will my assessment be increased to the sale price?
A: Not necessarily. Often amenities are listed by a Realtor that the Assessor has no record of. For example, a finished basement, extra bath, fireplace, or remodeling of your home. The assessment would be increased to reflect the value added by those improvements. Usually, properties are studied in neighborhoods, not individually. There would be a cause for an increase in your assessed value if other sales in your neighborhood are higher than yours. There would be an imbalance created in your neighborhood If the Assessor was to increase individual assessments because of sales.

Q: How often do I get reassessed?
A: By Illinois law every property must be reassessed at least every four years. It is preferred, however, to reassess annually to reflect the current market values and maintain uniformity. Hopefully, by reassessing every year you will not see dramatic increases in your assessments.

Q: When do assessments get published each year?
A: Assessments for Richmond Township are usually printed in the Northwest Herald mid-June. In quadrennial years all assessments will be printed. In non-quadrennial years only those assessments that I have changed would be printed. 2015 is a quadrennial year. 2019 will be the next quadrennial.

Q: What do I do if I do not agree with my assessment?
A: If after receiving your new assessment you feel your property has been incorrectly valued, please call this office at 815-678-2014. We can go over your questions or concerns and make any corrections if necessary. If after talking with us you still feel you are not being assessed fairly, you may file a complaint with the McHenry County Board of Review and request a hearing. Complaint forms may be obtained at the Supervisor of Assessments Office within 30 days from the date of publication in the newspaper for the new assessments. The forms are also available online at Please remember that this hearing must be regarding the market value of your property for the current assessment year only. It cannot be concerning the taxes you pay or your tax rate.

Q: How soon after I move into my newly constructed home will I get a tax bill?
A: Properties are assessed as of January 1st. However, if your home is completed in the middle of the year, it can be pro-rated for the remainder of the year. The first tax bill would be a prorated tax bill the next year, and the first full tax bill would be the following year. For example, if your home was completed on June 1st 2015, you would receive a tax bill for only the land in 2015. In 2016 you would receive a prorated tax bill (reflecting the 6 months the house was completed), and the first full tax bill would be in 2017.

Q: Would an additional improvement to my property increase my assessment?
A: You may be eligible for a Homestead Improvement Exemption, which removes the value of the improvement for 4 years. Any improvement made to a property that is owner-occupied and used for residential purposes can qualify. This is initiated by my office when I am aware that an improvement has been completed. The new addition is measured, valued, and then subtracted from the tax bill for 4 years. This exemption applies to improvements up to $75,000 market value. An addition to a farm building or new farm building is not eligible for this exemption. In this case, the addition is measured and valued and would be reflected in the following year’s assessment.

Q: How can my assessment be higher than my recent appraisal?
A: An assessment by state law represents the value as of Jan 1st based on sales from the previous 3 years. For 2017 assessments we looked at sales that occurred in 2015, 2016, and 2017. These sales are analyzed and compared with their assessed values and their sale cost per square foot. The purpose of an assessment is to distribute the tax burden fairly and equitably. If two homes are exactly alike they should have the same assessment even though they may have a different purchase price. The three year average prevents large fluctuations in your assessment, making it easier for you to budget your taxes. An appraisal is usually based on the housing market for the last 6 months to 1 year.

Q: Why are my taxes higher than my neighbor's?
A: As the Assessor I do not know what anyone pays in taxes. I only place value on properties in Richmond Township. There may be many reasons why someone’s taxes are less: are they entitled to exemptions that you may not be getting? Is the assessment based on a full year or is it a prorated house that only has a partial assessment? Is the land at a developer’s rate or full residential value? Are they entitled to farm land assessment? Do they have the same taxing districts? Richmond Township has many different taxing districts (such as fire departments or libraries), each with their own tax rate. The various taxing districts for your property would determine the total tax you pay. A list of the taxing districts for your property is on your tax bill, along with each of the taxing district’s rates.

Q: Why did I not receive a notice this year?
A: An assessment notice is sent to a property owner if I made a change to their assessment. If I did not change the assessment there is no notice sent. The Supervisor of Assessment prints my changes in the local newspaper (in Richmond Township that is the Northwest Herald) along with the multiplier, if any, that would be applied to all properties in the township excluding farmland. I also update our website so property owners will know that a multiplier was applied.

The following are some of the more commonly asked questions by township property owners. Please feel free to contact us with any others you may need answered.