Section 1: Administrative Rules
Section 3: Extension Requests
Section 4: Computing Time Limits
Section 5: Representation Before the Board of Review
Section 6: Rules of Evidence
Section 7: Hearings Before the Board of Review
Section 8: Exemptions
Section 9: Homestead Improvement Exemptions
Section 1: ADMINISTRATIVE RULES
1.1 Statement of Policy
Pursuant to Section 9-5 of the Property Tax Code (35 ILCS 200/9-5 Board of Review hereby adopts the following rules and procedures in order that its duties may be performed in an orderly fashion and so that taxpayers may be informed as to their responsibilities.
The Madison County Board of Review is currently a full time board. The office is located in the County Administration Building, 157 North Main Street, Suite 222 Edwardsville, IL 62025-1964. Phone: (618) 692-6210. All sessions are held in the board office, unless the board votes to have a special session at another site or location. The office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The board may also vote to have weekend sessions at its discretion. Any single member of the board, including alternate members, may conduct a hearing. No decision will be finalized without concurrence of a majority of the Board members. The board reserves the right to assign additional hearings rooms if necessary.
Section 16-30 of the Property Tax Code defines the primary duty of board of review. It states, in part, “…the board of review, upon application of any taxpayer, or upon its own motion, may revise the entire assessment of any taxpayer or any part of the assessment as appears to be just.” In order for a taxpayer to have his property assessment reviewed, a written complaint must be submitted to the Board of Review. Upon a proposed increase, the board will give the affected taxpayer an opportunity to be heard before adopting the increase by granting 14 days in which to file a complaint on the proposed increase. The following rules and deadlines, as required by statute, will be in effect.
1.2 Convening the Board.
The Board will convene on or before the first Monday of June and will recess day to day as may be necessary.
In the event any section, provision, or term of these rules is determined by a court or other authority of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, that determination shall not affect the remaining sections or provisions, which shall continue in full force and effect. The purpose, the provisions of these rules are severable.
The rules may be amended from time to time; said amendments are effective upon their being conspicuously posted and prominently displayed by the Clerk of the Board.
A Board complaint decision resulting in a change of assessed value will be effective for only the current assessment year; the Board does not have retroactive power except with regard to omitted property and the process of stipulation of assessed value on appeals which are currently before the Property Tax Appeal Board for prior tax years.
Forms are available from the Board of Review during regular business hours. Not more than fifty (50) complaint forms shall be given to any individual, organization or business at any one time.
1.7 Failure to Follow Board Rules
Failure to follow any rule may, in and of itself be grounds for the denial of any relief.
1.8 Freedom of Information Act Policy
The Board is a public body as defined in the Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140). As a public body, it is subject to the Act.
1.9 Copy Charges
Madison County currently allows a charge of 50 cents per page for photocopies.
1.10 Improper Conduct or Language
When an appellant or appellant’s agent, attorney or witness engages in threatening, disruptive, vulgar, abusive or obscene conduct or language that delays or protracts a proceeding or refuses to leave a hearing room after a decision has been rendered, the Board, by any Member or Hearing Officer, may request that the offending individual leave the proceeding.
Section 2: FILING OF COMPLAINTS BY TAXPAYER OR ATTORNEY
2.1 Complaints must be filed with the Board of Review at its office within 30 days of the publication of the new assessment list using the forms prescribed by the board. When the board has proposed an increase in an assessment; the taxpayer has 14 days from the postmark date of the notice to file a complaint on the proposed increase. Deletion and combination of parcel numbers where there is no net increase assessed value requires no notification. The board reserves the right to reduce an assessment on its own motion without notification.
2.2 Appeals where the appellant has requested a reduction in assessed value of over $100,000, and where an affected taxing district has intervened, the Board of Review shall notify the appellant of the intervention and the appellant shall thereafter be required to provide each and every Intervenor with copies of all evidence within 14 days of the notification. Any future filings by the appellant shall be copied to the Intervenor(s).
2.3 The line designated as APPELLANT’S CLAIM, which is what the taxpayer feels the assessment should be, MUST be completed or the form will be returned. Failure to complete the rest of the form will significantly reduce the chances for relief.
2.4 Parties wishing to complain on multiple parcels must file a separate complaint form for each parcel unless leave is granted by the board to consolidation. If an appraisal is submitted for one property that consists of multiple parcels; i.e. a shopping center or industrial plant; the report should allocate the full market value among the individual parcels.
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Section 3: EXTENSION REQUESTS
3.1 All extension requests must be made in writing and submitted with the complaint form prior to the statutory deadline. This rule also applies to taxing districts filing complaints pursuant to ILCS Section 16-25 and intervention petitions pursuant to ILCS Section 16-55. Also see Rules of Evidence 6.3 (p 5).
Section 4: COMPUTING TIME LIMITS
4.1 The time within which any act under these rules is to be done shall be computed by excluding the first day and including the last. Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays of Madison County shall be included in computing the time, except that when such time expires on Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, such period shall be extended to include the next following business day.
Section 5: REPRESENTATION BEFORE THE BOARD OF REVIEW
5.1 Taxpayers shall have the right to complete and file a complaint form on property that they own or in which they have an equitable interest. Taxpayers shall have the right to represent themselves before the board or through an attorney licensed in the State of Illinois. A complaint filed on behalf of a corporate taxpayer must be completed and filed by an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois unless completion and filing of the complaint by a non-attorney is explicitly authorized by Illinois law. Accountants, tax representatives, tax advisors, real estate appraisers and/or consultants and others not licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois may not complete complaint forms or appear at board hearings in the representative capacity. However, such persons may be called upon to testify at hearings as a witness and may assist parties and attorneys in preparation of cases for presentation to the board.
5.2 The board may require proof of the attorney’s authority to represent the taxpayer. If the attorney fails to provide proof of authority within the compliance period granted by the board pursuant to section 2.1 of these rules, the board may dismiss the complaint. The Board shall send electronically or by mail, notice of the dismissal to the attorney and complainant.
5.3 Intervenor shall provide to the appellant’s copies of all filings at least 5 days prior to the hearing.
5.4 County and/or township assessors or their designee shall provide to the appellant’s and the Board of Review copies of any and all rebuttal evidence at least 5 business days prior to the hearing date.
Section 6: Rules of Evidence
6.1 The party filing the appeal has the burden of going forward.
6.2 All evidence should be submitted with the complaint form. A request for an extension of time to file evidence shall be submitted in writing on or before the statutory deadline to file a complaint. The board reserves the right to grant or deny the request. The Board reserves the right to determine the date of the extension to file evidence.
6.3 If an extension of time is granted to file evidence, the appellant shall file copies of the evidence with the board and any applicable assessor’s or intervening taxing districts.
6.4 If appellant has received a copy of a request to intervene for a taxing district, appellant is required to serve a copy of all evidence and pertinent correspondence upon the Intervenor.
6.5 Intervening taxing districts shall serve copies of all their evidence and pleadings upon the Appellant.
6.6 County/Township Assessor’s or their designee shall provide appellant’s, Board of Review and Intervenor (where applicable) at least 5 business prior to the hearing date.
Section 7: HEARINGS BEFORE THE BOARD
7.1 The board does not follow formal rules of pleading, practice, and evidence, and will not hear formal testimony as such. The current assessed value as certified by the Chief County Assessment Official shall be assumed to be correct and the burden of proof of going forward shall be on the appellant/complainant. Taxpayers and/or Intervenor shall present substantive evidence in support of or in opposition to a change in assessment, with appellant going first. The board may then question the assessor, Chief County Assessment Official, or their designee as to their valuation methodology. Without just cause, no additional evidence will be accepted at the hearing. Since appeals from the Board of Review are de novo, there is no need to “make a record” before the board.
7.2 Power of the Board of Review during hearings:
In connection with any proceeding, the board shall have full authority to:
a) Conduct and control the procedure of the hearing;
b) Admit or exclude testimony or evidence;
c) Administer oaths and affirmations and examine all persons appearing at the hearing to testify or offer evidence
d) Require the production of any book, record, paper, or document at any stage of the appeal or of the hearing which is the foundation for any evidence or testimony presented in the appeal require the submission of briefs on issues of law raised during the hearing by a deadline set by the Board.
7.3 Determination of Appealed Assessments
7.3.1 Market Value Complaints: Section 16-55 states, in part “…property shall not be assessed at a higher percentage of fair cash value than the assessed valuation of other property in the jurisdiction prior to equalization by the board or the Department (of Revenue).” This means that when sufficient probative evidence is submitted and accepted by the board as to what the full fair cash value of the subject property should be; that the percentage used to establish the assessed value shall be the most recent one year level of assessment for the township preceding the assessment year adjusted for any reassessment that has changed the township level of assessment. Evidence of market value may include, a) recent appraisal of the subject property; b) recent sale of the subject property evidenced by a copy of the sales contract and closing statement; c) if new construction; evidence of the cost of construction including the cost of the land and the value of any labor provided the owner or donated to the owner; d) three recent sales of comparable properties in or near the subject neighborhood, if possible.
7.3.2 Equity complaints: When the taxpayer cites unequal treatment or lack of uniformity in his appeal, he must prove by clear and convincing evidence that a disparity of assessments exists. The evidence must demonstrate that a consistent pattern of assessment inequities exists. Isolated examples of assessment inequities are not sufficient to substantiate an assessment reduction. [Kankakee County Board of Review v. Property Tax Appeal Board, 131 IL 2d1 (1989)].
7.3.3 Hearing Waiver: If an appellant files a hearing waiver form, the appellant is granting the Board of Review the right to review the complaint without a hearing and render a decision based upon the evidence submitted.
7.3.4 Teleconference Hearings: The Board, at their discretion, may allow a hearing to be held via teleconference due to an unforeseen emergency provided there is no objection.
7.4 Hearing Format
Appellant has the burden of going forward. Appellant will present evidence in support of the appeal, including calling expert witnesses. The Board will have an opportunity to question the witnesses. The Board will have an opportunity to cross-examine the witness. Other parties (assessor/Intervenor) will then have an opportunity to examine the witness. If the assessor has submitted evidence, they shall testify as to their findings and have an opportunity to call witnesses. The other parties will then be able to question the witnesses. If the County Assessor has submitted evidence, the Board may call witnesses for the county. The other parties will then have an opportunity to cross-examine the county witness. Parties may make oral closing arguments or request leave to file written briefs.
7.5 Final Decisions of the Board
All final decisions of the board shall be in writing and delivered to the affected parties. Parties then have 30 days after the date of the written notice to appeal the decision either to the Property Tax Appeal Board per ILCS Section 16-160 of the Property Tax Code or may pay under protest and file an objection in court per ILCS Section 23-3 through 23-30 of the Property Tax Code. All final decisions of the Board of Review are subject to equalization per ILCS Section 12-40, 16-60, and 16-65 of the Property Tax Code.
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Section 8: EXEMPTIONS
8.1 Pursuant to Section 16-70 of the Property Tax Code, the Board of Review shall hear and determine the application of any person who is assessed on property claimed to be exempt from taxation. However, the decision of the board shall not be final, except as to homestead exemptions. Upon filing of any application for a non-homestead exemption which would reduce the assessed valuation of any property by more than $100,000, the owner shall deliver, in person or by mail, a copy of the application to any municipality, school district, or community college district in which the property is situated. The board shall give the affected districts and the taxpayer an opportunity to be heard. In the case of all non-homestead exemption applications, the clerk of the Board of Review shall make out and forward to the Department of Revenue a full and complete statement of all the facts in the case. The Department will decide on the exemption application. Any decision is subject to review under ILCS Section 8-35 and 8-40 of the Property Tax Code.
8.2 PROCESSING OF EXEMPTION APPLICATIONS
8.2.1 All exemption applications will be processed according to Illinois Department of Revenue Property Tax Administrative Rules Title 86, Chapter I, Part 110 as amended.
8.2.2 Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption
Pursuant to Department of Revenue guidelines, the Board of Review may deny an application for the Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption (SCAFHE) for the following reasons:
a) Property is not improved with a permanent structure as of January 1 of the year proceeding the application year, or as of January 1 of the application year
b) Applicant or deceased spouse was not 65 years of age during the application year.
c) Applicant already received the SCAFHE on another property.
d) Applicant’s household income exceeded $55,000 or as otherwise established by statute, for the year previous to the application year.
e) Applicant failed to disclose all members of the household.
f) Applicant failed to apply by the statutory deadline.
g) Applicant failed to provide all pertinent social security number
h) Applicant previously received SCAFHE, subsequently moved to a nursing home, and someone now occupies the residence other than the applicant’s spouse.
i) Applicant not liable for property taxes for the application year.
j) Applicant was not owner of record or a holder of legal equitable property interest as of January 1 of either the application year or the year previous.
k) Property is not owner occupied and/or principal residence of applicant as of January 1 of either the application year or the year preceding.
l) Any other just cause in which the applicant failed to comply with Section 15-172 of the Property Tax Code. (denial code 99)
m) Upon approval of the application, the board shall determine what the base year assessment shall be and any increase in the base year value due to any new improvements.
n) Applicants will be notified in writing if the application is denied.
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Section 9: HOMESTEAD IMPROVEMENT EXEMPTION
Pursuant to Section 15-180 of the Property Tax Code, upon receipt of a reassessment notice or upon publication of the new assessments list; the owner of a property used exclusively for residential purposes and occupied by the owner, and whose assessment has increased solely due to a new improvement to an existing structure qualifies for a homestead improvement exemption. The amount of the exemption shall be limited to the fair cash value added by the improvement and shall continue for 4 years for the date the improvement is completed and occupied, or until the next following general assessment of that property, whichever is later. The amount of the exemption is limited to $75,000 per year in fair cash value.
9.1. Application forms are available from the Board of Review and must be completed and filed on the prescribed form no later than December 1 of the assessment year.
9.2. Unless it is a quadrennial reassessment year or a mistake is found in the previous year’s equalized assessed value, the amount of the home improvement exemption will be the difference between the current year’s assessed value of the improvement as certified by the Chief County Assessment Official prior to any equalization, and the prior year’s equalized assessed value of the improvement. Otherwise, it will be the fair cash value of the new improvement times the single year level of assessment as used by the board during its complaint hearings.
Approved by a majority vote of the Board of Review this 8th day of July 1996.
Amended August 9, 1999, July 30, 2004, March 14, 2008, August 5, 2008, June 27, 2013. Amended June 17, 2014, August 17, 2018