Appeal Advice

To support a claim of an unfair assessment, you will need substantial evidence.

Below is a list of useful evidence that supports most claims of overvaluation. You should use at least one form of evidence. However, if more than one best supports your claim of fair market value, use as much evidence as needed.

  • APPRAISAL: An appraisal is NOT required when you appeal an assessment, but an appraisal performed by an Illinois Licensed Appraiser is one of the best forms of evidence to have. Appraisals performed anytime during the previous 3 years are acceptable for submission.
  • CLOSING STATEMENT: If you are wanting a reduction to your purchase price, you will need to submit the first 2 pages of your HUD-1 statement or your Closing/Settlement statement. Additionally, if the property was listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), it useful to include the "Listing history" of the property, which can be provided by any REALTOR. Another document that may be helpful is the Transfer Declaration or PTAX-203, a/k/a/ Green Sheet.
  • MARKET VALUATION: Sale comparables are used to prove market condition. A market analysis argues that the value of one property is at a higher level of assessment than the sale price of similar properties.  Sale comparables for Rockford Township can be obtain from Rockford Township’s Website, the Township Assessor's Office, the Supervisor of Assessments' Office, your own independent research, or from a member of the local Multiple Listing Service, a/k/a a REALTOR.
  • EQUITY: (UNEQUAL TREATMENT/LACK OF UNIFORMITY): Equity comparables are used when sale data is limited or does not exist. An equity analysis argues that the value of one property is at a higher level of assessment than the assessment of similar properties.  Equity comparables can be found at the Township Assessor's Office, the Supervisor of Assessments' Office, or your through own independent research.
  • INCOME APPROACH: If the property is income producing and 6 units or less (residential or commercial), you must furnish an income and expense statement and copy of an entire typical lease.  If the property has 7 or more residential units or is commercial use, you must submit the income and expense statements from 2014, 2015, 2016. 
  • LEGAL BRIEF: Appeals based on incorrect application of law must include a brief, citing the law in question as well as copies of any legal opinions and/or judicial rulings regarding the law in question.
  • CONTRACT TO PURCHASE: If you are a purchaser who has entered into an agreement, you may file a complaint on the property that you have agreed to purchase, with a scheduled closing date within 25 days after the complaint filing deadline, provided the filing includes:
    • a copy of the entire contract to purchase AND
    • a written statement from the property owner granting authorization, to the purchaser, to file the complaint. In cases where the property owner is a bank, or a government agency (ie HUD, FNMA, VA, etc.), this statement is not required. In those cases, only the copy of the entire contract to purchase is required. 
  • PROPERTY LISTED FOR SALE BUT HASN'T SOLD: If your property has been listed for sale and has not sold, you will need the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) history. If not listed through a local REALTOR, proof of advertising and duration.
  • CONSTRUCTION COSTS: A sworn contractor’s affidavit of costs, if the improvement is new construction together with a Closing/Settlement Statement or first 2 pages of the HUD-1.


  1. Price Per Square Foot Assessors and Board of Review Members look at the price per square foot of your property value in relation to the comparables you submit. The price per square foot is based on the above grade living area. The formula is (valuation or sale price) ÷ (above grade living area) = (price per square foot).
  2. Physical Comparability This includes such factors as total size, above grade living area, condition, quality, age, construction.
  3. Locational Comparability Are the comparable and the subject property influenced by the same locational characteristics?
  4. Arm’s Length Sale Is the comparable sale a Valid Sale? To determine if the sale is valid, the conditions of the transaction must meet ALL of the following criteria. If one item is answered "no", the Assessor will likely discount the sale. However, the Board of Review will consider all evidence you submit.
    • Was conveyance via a Warranty Deed or Trustee's Deed?
    • Were all parties knowledgeable of the market?
    • Were all parties able to make an informed decision without undue influence?
    • Was the property exposed to the open market?
    • Were the principal buyer and seller unrelated individuals or corporations?
    • Were all parties NON-GOVERNMENTAL agents or agencies?
    • If the sale was a foreclosure, was it the first sale after the foreclosure preceding (an REO)?
  5. Conditions of an Invalid Sale or Non-Market Sale A sale is considered invalid if it meets ANY of the following criteria. If one item is answered "yes", the Assessor will likely discount the sale. However, the Board of Review will consider all evidence you submit. Please note the below criteria are the most common reasons to exclude a sale from comparison. Exclusions include, but are not limited to:
    • The transaction involves a government agency
    • Multiple parcels are sold in the same transaction
    • One parcel is being divided into multiple parcels or multiple parcels are being combined
    • Individuals or corporations have same name or ownership
    • The sale is mandated by the court (lender possession, divorce decree, interstate, etc.)
    • Only a portion of the parcel or partial interest is transferred
    • Parcels are traded
    • A deed other than a Warranty Deed or Trustee's Deed is used to convey the parcel
    • The property was not exposed to the open market
    • Property was sold at auction
    • Adjacent neighbor is principal to the transaction
    • Agreement for Deed or Option to Purchase
    • Sale-Leasebacks
    • Transfers in payment of satisfaction of a debt
  • Use logical reasoning and conclusions
  • Refer to the evidence not a tax bill
  • Use evidence that is trustworthy, authoritative, and verifiable
  1. Be certain to complete the appeal form by filling in all blanks, checking all appropriate boxes, and signing and dating it.
  2. Please include your opinion of assessed value in the “Complaintants Requested Value” portion.
  3. Present your comparables in the simplest-to-read form:
    • Use the Board of Review Comparable Grid that accompanies the Appeal Form
    • You can create your own grid analysis so long it contains mostly the same information, specifically, the price per square foot comparison.                                           
  4. Less is more. In most cases, you do not need to submit public internet data such as Tax Bills, Property Details from the Assessor's site, exemption information from the Supervisor of Assessments site, Assessment History from WinGIS, Zillow or Trulia type statistics, nor most other data that is publicly available. Unless the information is crucial to your case or you believe your appeal is not complete without it, the Grid Analysis of comparables is sufficient for the Board to consider.
  5. Limit your selection of comparables to five (5) or less.
  6. Double check your PIN numbers. Be certain all the PIN numbers you submit are correct.
  7. Make 3 Copies of the entire appeal: (1) Copy is for your records, (2) copies PLUS the original are for the Board of Review.
  8. When in doubt, call your Township Assessor’s Office OR seek the advice of someone who has successfully appealed.


Rockford Township Assessor's Office
401 West State Street, Suite 100
Rockford, Illinois 61101

T: (815) 965-0300
F: (815) 965-8968

office hours

Monday through Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm