Tax Assessor’s letter to ACL residents

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To the Residents of Apple Canyon Lake,

An equalization factor of 1.1530 has been applied to all the houses in Apple Canyon Lake based on the sales ratio study.  I felt that I should give you a detailed explanation of why this is happening.  Each year a sales ratio study is done by the Illinois Dept of Revenue on the sales that occurred in the prior year. A sales ratio study compares a sale price with the previous year’s assessed value on each sale that occurred. Those percentages are totaled, and the median is determined. That median is added with the two previous years’ median and an average is determined for the 3-year period. In this case, the three years would be 2015, 2016 and 2017. If that 3-year average is above or below 33.33% then either the Township Assessor or the Chief County Assessment Office will need to apply a factor or do a complete revaluation.

Here are a few examples of sales that occurred in 2017:

  • 1 story frame home on 1 lot sold for $230,000. The assessed value for 2017 was $38,623 which is a market value of $115,869. The sales ratio is based on the 2016 assessed value which was $28,367 with a ratio of 12.33%.
  • 1 story frame home on 1 lot sold for $174,950. The assessed value for 2017 was $38,813 which is a market value of $116,439. The sales ratio is based on the 2016 assessed value which was $28,437 with a ratio of 16.25%.
  • 1 story frame home on 1 lot sold for $285,000. The assessed value for 2017 was $51,780 which is a market value of $155,340. The sales ratio is based on the 2016 assessed value which was $46,574 with a ratio of 16.34%.
  • 1 ½ story frame home on 1 lot sold for $187,500. The assessed value for 2017 was $45,661 which is a market value of $136,983. The sales ratio is based on the 2016 assessed value which was $33,375 with a ratio of 17.80%.
  • 1 story frame home on 1 lot sold for $178,500. The assessed value for 2017 was $44,322 which is a market value of $132,966. The sales ratio is based on the 2016 assessed value which was $32,410 with a ratio of 18.16%.
  • 1 ½ story frame home on 1 lot sold for $161,000. The assessed value for 2017 was $46,171 which is a market value of $138,513. The sales ratio is based on the 2016 assessed value which was $34,151 with a ratio of 21.21%.

As you can see in the examples above, the houses are selling higher than the assessed values. The vacant lots are still selling low but the houses are rebounding. The Department of Revenue used 156 sales in Apple Canyon Lake that occurred in 2015, 2016, and 2017 in the sales ratio study. Of those 156 sales, 103 sales were assessed below the statutory 33.33% and 72 of those sales were house sales that were assessed below the 33.33% of market value.  In order to bring the sales ratio to 33.33%, a factor of 1.1530 has been applied to the house values in Apple Canyon Lake. A public notice of the equalization factor will be published in the October 17th edition of The Scoop, you will have 30 days to file a complaint with the Board of Review if you feel the value is incorrect. You will need to fill out a Board of Review complaint form and provide evidence to support your claim that you are over-assessed. My staff, the township assessor and the Board of Review will not discuss taxes or an individual tax bill. They will only discuss assessed values.  If you have any questions, please call the Chief County Assessment Office at 815-777-1016. My staff will gladly answer your questions to help you understand your new assessed value. 

Please keep in mind, whether you are speaking to my staff, myself or the township assessor, please be courteous. We are all trying to do our job to the best of our ability. Our goal is not to raise taxes but to make sure that the tax burden is distributed evenly amongst all property owners based on what they own. We do not set tax rates. Tax rates are determined by the individual tax bodies and the amount of money they levy for. If you feel the tax rates are too high, you need to address that issue with taxing bodies when they are working on their budgets.

Donna M. Berlage
Chief County Assessment Officer
Jo Daviess County


Assessment notices have been published and can be found on the county website at www.jodaviess.org, and also in your local newspaper (list provided below).  Publication date is October 17, 2018, and the deadline to file a complaint on your assessment is November 16, 2018.

Newspaper Listings

The Scoop – Apple River, Berreman, Derinda, Pleasant Valley, Stockton, Thompson, and Wards Grove townships.

Galena Gazette – Council Hill, Dunleith, East Galena, Elizabeth, Guilford, Hanover, Menominee, Rawlins, Rice, Scales Mound, Vinegar Hill, West Galena, and Woodbine townships.

The Flash – Nora, Rush, and Warren townships.


If you do not see your parcel listed, do not panic; this simply means that there was no change in your assessed value.

There was a 1.1530 factor applied to all residential properties in Apple Canyon Lake in Thompson Township and a 1.0256 factor to residential property in West Galena Township. Thompson Township factor notice is published in the Scoop and the West Galena Township factor is published in the Galena Gazette. Since this was done at the Supervisor of Assessment Equalized Level, only the factor needs to be published, no physical notice will be mailed.

The Quadrennial townships for 2018 are:  Elizabeth, Woodbine, Stockton, Hanover, Rice, Berreman, Derinda, Pleasant Valley and Wards Grove.  What does this mean?  It means that these townships were revalued as of January 1, 2018 using the last 3 years (2017, 2016, and 2015) of ARM’s Length Sales (good sales).