Illinois Tax programs for Tax Reductions

Assessment of Property Encumbered by Easements
Illinois Constitution of 1970, Article 9, par. 4(c)
Property Tax Code, Sec. 9-145(e)

Contact
Supervisor of Assessments, County Assessor

Objective
Encourage preservation of natural areas.

Incentive
Any depreciation in the value of real estate occasioned by a public easement may be deducted in assessing such property. Any property dedicated as a nature preserve or as a nature preserve buffer under the Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act shall be depreciated as a public easement for assessment purposes to $1 an acre or portion thereof.

Requirements
Property must have depreciated because of a public easement, or be dedicated as a nature preserve.
 


Exemption of Property Leased to a Park District
Property Tax Code, Sec. 15-105(b)

Contact
County Board of Review

Objective
Encourage leasing of land to be preserved as open space.

Incentive
All property leased to a park district or conservation district with 2 million or fewer inhabitants for $1 or less per year and used exclusively as open space for recreational purposes is exempt. There is a limit of 50 acres in the aggregate for each district. Application for exemption should be made to the county board of review.

Requirements
No more than 50 acres in the aggregate is exempt. 


Get a Forestry Management Plan  and get a Tax Break
Property Tax Code, Sec. 10-150

Contact
District Forester of the county where the land is located

Objective
Encourage forest land use, protection and management.

Incentive
Guarantees forest land is assessed as "other farmland". "Other farmland" is assessed based upon the productivity potential of the soil. For downstate counties "other farmland" is assessed at 1/6 of what it would be if it were being cropped. For the 2002 assessment year, the assessment for "other farmland" in downstate counties would range from $1.81 per acre for the least productive soil in the state to $62.63 per acre for the most productive soil in the state.

Requirements
Land in counties other than Cook, being managed under an Illinois Department of Natural Resources approved forestry management plan (pursuant to the Illinois Forestry Development Act), is eligible to be assessed under the farmland category of "other farmland". In Cook County any land totaling 15 acres or less for which an approved forestry management plan was in effect on or before December 31, 1985 is eligible to be assessed as "other farmland". Cook County farm assessments do not differentiate between land use categories, so "other farmland" is assessed similarly to all types of farmland. (Department of Natural Resources must inform Department of Revenue and each chief county assessment officer of each parcel of eligible land.)

Statistics
Currently about 7,500 approved forestry management plans comprising about 350,000 acres.
 


 Illinois Nature Preserves

Objective
Preserve for future generations the highest quality natural areas in the State and to provide habitat for native plants and animals. To allow and facilitate, dependent upon the landowner's permission, the visitation of nature preserves for nature observation, study, education, and aesthetic appreciation. To provide perpetual protection of the preserve against intrusions.

Incentive
Property tax reduced to the assessed value of $1 acre/year in perpetuity. The commission oversees the stewardship, management and protection of the land.

Requirements
Land or water must be an outstanding natural area or endangered species site. Land may be in either private or public ownership. The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission determines eligibility.

Contact
IL Department of Natural Resources
Division of Natural Heritage
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271
Phone: (217) 785-8774
TDD: (217) 782-9175
Fax: (217) 785-8277

 


Non-Clear Cut Assessment
P.A. 91-907
Property Tax Code, Sec. 10-153

Contact
Supervisor of Assessments, County Assessor

Objective
To protect wildlife habitat and the water quality of lakes, rivers, and streams.

Incentive
Land is valued at 1/12th of its productivity index equalized assessed value as cropland if it is within 15 yards of waters listed by the Department of Natural Resources under Section 5 of the Rivers, Lakes, and Streams Act as navigable and has not been clear cut of trees.

Requirements
The land cannot be located in a unit of local government that has a population greater than 500,000.
 


Open Space Assessment
Property Tax Code, Sec. 10-155

Contact
Supervisor of Assessments, County Assessor

Objective
Preserve land in open space.

Incentive
Land used for open space purposes and so used for the 3 years immediately preceding the assessment year is eligible for a dual assessment. Taxes are paid on the lower "use" value unless the use changes. In that case there is a "rollback" tax equal to what the tax would have been at the higher market value valuation for the previous three years less the taxes actually paid plus 5% interest. The lower "use valuation" may vary by location, type of property, and court decisions. Application must be made to the chief county assessment officer by January 31 of each year for which the valuation is desired. (Not available in Cook County.)

Requirements
Minimum area is 10 acres and:

  1. Is actually and exclusively used for maintaining or enhancing natural or scenic resources,
  2. Protects air or streams or water supplies,
  3. Promotes conservation of soil, wetlands, beaches or marshes, including ground cover or planted perennial grasses, trees and shrubs and other natural perennial growth, and including any body of water, whether manmade or natural,
  4. Conserves landscaped areas, such as public or private golf courses,
  5. Enhances the value to the public of abutting or neighboring parks, forests, wildlife preserves, nature reservations, sanctuaries, or other open spaces, or
  6. Preserves historic sites.

Land is not considered used for open space purposes if it is used primarily for residential purposes.

Statistics
For 1994 taxes, payable in 1995, the difference between the market value assessment and the dual value assessment statewide was $314.7 million before application of the state multiplier. This amount includes the Airport Dual Assessment program also (Sec. 10-90 et seq.).

 


Preferential Assessment of Farmland
Property Tax Code, Sec. 1-60 (Definition.) Sec. 10-110, et seq

Objective
Preservation of desirable land uses.

Incentive
If property is used as a farm and has been used as a farm for the previous two years it is eligible for a farmland assessment. The farmland assessment is a formula value called the "agricultural economic value" based on income and expense data capitalized at a prescribed interest rate and certified by the Department on a per acre basis by soil productivity index. The result is generally substantially lower than market value based assessment, particularly in counties with development pressure.

Property Tax Code, Section 10-125 -- Assessments are then based on:

  • Cropland, 33 1/3% of the agricultural economic value of the productivity index of the soil.
  • Permanent pasture, at 1/3 of its value as cropland.
  • Other farmland at 1/6 of its value as cropland.
  • Wasteland on its contributory value to the farmland parcel. If it has a contributory value it is 1/6 of the EAV for the lowest certified productivity index. If it does not have a contributory value, it is valued at zero.

In Cook County the equalized assessed value of farmland is the lesser of 16% of fair cash value, or 90% of the 1983 average equalized assessed value per acre certified by the Department.

Requirements
The property must be used as a farm, have been used as a farm for the previous two years, and not be primarily residential. The definition of farmland includes agricultural use. Some uses of special interest in a conservation context would be tree nurseries, orchards, forestry, sod farming, bees, fish and wildlife farming.

Statistics
30.2 million acres; average per acre assessment for 2001 was $164.

Contact
Supervisor of Assessments, County Assessor

 


Preferential Assessment of Common Areas
Property Tax Code, Sec. 10-35

Objective
Encourage open spaces in residential developments.

Incentive
Residential property that is individually owned and includes the use of a "common area" for recreational or similar residential purposes is assessed at a value which includes the owner's share of the common area. The common area or areas which are used for recreational or similar residential purposes and are assessed to a separate owner on separate parcels shall be assessed at $1 per year. (In Cook County, application to the assessor is required.) Notification of the assessor must be made if the ownership changes.

Requirements
Residential property must be individually owned and include the use of a "common area" for recreation or similar residential purposes.

Contact
Township Assessor; Supervisor of Assessments, County Assessor
 


 

Tax Certification Program for Livestock Waste Management Facilities
Property Tax Code, Sec. 11-5 through 11-30

Objective
Encourage livestock producers to construct waste storage structures and other structures that prevent water pollution.

Incentive
Reduced property tax for pollution control improvements such as manure pits, liquid livestock waste storage facilities, feedlot runoff sediment capture basins and tanks. IEPA recommends to the IL Pollution Control Board that the improvements qualify. The IPCB may certify the improvements and issue the tax certification, which is transmitted to the IL Department of Revenue. The IDR assumes authority from the county tax assessment office to assess the value of the facilities based upon the remaining useful life and salvage value of the improvements.

Requirements
The improvement must be certified by the IPCB which bases its decision, in part, on an IEPA recommendation that the primary purpose of the facility is water pollution control.

Program Info

Contact
IL Environmental Protection Agency
Bureau of Water
Watershed Management Section
1021 North Grand Avenue East
Springfield, IL 62794
Phone: (217) 782-3362
TDD: (217) 782-9143

 


Vegetative Filter Strip Assessment

Objective
To voluntarily protect the water quality of lakes, rivers, streams, creeks or other water bodies, by providing a property tax reduction incentive to landowners who install vegetative filter strips between farm fields and the water body to be protected.

Incentive
Land on which vegetative filter strips are constructed and certified by the County Soil and Water Conservation District Board will be assessed at one-sixth of its productivity index equalized assessed value as cropland. In Cook County, land converted to filter strips shall be valued at the lesser of either (1) 16% of the fair cash value of the farmland estimated at the price it would bring at a fair, voluntary sale for use by the buyer as a farm; or (2) 90% of the 1983 average equalized assessed value per acre certified by the Department of Revenue.

Requirements
Interested landowners may contact the Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) for the county in which they reside. SWCD staff will provide technical assistance in the design, surveying and certification of vegetative filter strips. The SWCD must develop a conservation plan for the creation of the filter strip that is to be kept on file in the SWCD office.

To be eligible for a reduced property tax assessment, vegetative filter strips must meet the standards and specifications set forth in the Natural Resources Conservation Service Technical Guide and contain vegetation that:

  • has a dense top growth,
  • forms a uniform ground cover,
  • has a fibrous root system, and
  • tolerates pesticides used on the farm field.

Following the certification of the vegetative filter strip by the SWCD Board, the applicant must file the certification document with the Chief County Assessment Officer.

Contact
County Soil and Water Conservation District Office

or
Illinois Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Land and Water Resources

State Fairgrounds, PO Box 19281
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9281
Phone: (217) 782-6297
Fax: (217) 557-0993


Contact Illinois Tax programs for Tax Reductions


Springfield, Illinois

 

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