Property Tax Appeal Board  
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 Administrative Review of Board Decisions 

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Section 16-195 of the Code provides: "Final administrative decisions of the Property Tax Appeal Board are subject to review under the provisions of the Administrative Review Law, except that in every case where a change in assessed valuation of $300,000 or more was sought, that review shall be afforded directly in the Appellate Court for the district in which the property involved in the Board's decision is situated, and not in the circuit court."

A. An action to review a final PTAB decision, when the change in assessed valuation sought was less than $300,000, is begun by filing a complaint in the circuit court "within 35 days from the date that a copy of the decision sought to be reviewed was served upon the party affected by the decision." 735 ILCS 5/3-103. Generally, administrative review is taken in the circuit court where the subject property is located. Summons must be served by registered or certified mail on the administrative agency and on each of the other parties to the appeal before the agency. 735 ILCS 5/3-105, 5/3-107. It is especially important to note this provision since failure to join all parties of record before the Board may lead to dismissal of the action.

The Board in any administrative review generally appears by the Illinois Attorney General's office. The Board files its answer, which consists of the record of proceedings before it, by a written motion or by a written appearance. 735 ILCS 5/3-106. The answer of the agency consists of the original or a certified copy of the entire record of proceedings under review including the evidence that was heard and the findings and decision(s) issued by it. By order of the reviewing court or by stipulation of the parties, this record may be shortened by the elimination of portions of the record. If the complaint specifies that only a portion or none of the record shall be filed, and if the agency or any other defendant objects, the court shall hear the parties on this issue and determine what is to be included in the agency's answer. 735 ILCS 5/3-108(b).

Section 16-195 of the Property Tax Code provides:
 
The Property Tax Appeal Board shall certify the record of its proceedings only if the taxpayer or other entity seeking review under the Administrative Review Law pays to it for each page of legal size or smaller, the sum of 75 per page for testimony taken before the Board and 25 per page for all other matters contained in the record, and for any page larger than legal size the sum of $1, except that these charges may be waived when the Board is satisfied that the aggrieved party cannot afford to pay such charges. There shall be no charge to the taxpayer or other entity for certification by the Property Tax Appeal Board of any pages of the record which are furnished for inclusion in the record by the taxpayer or other entity seeking review. If payment for the record is not made by the taxpayer or other entity within 30 days after notice from the Board or the Attorney General of the cost thereof, the court in which the proceeding is pending, on motion of the Board, shall dismiss the complaint. 35 ILCS 200/16-195.

The Administrative Review Law also requires that the complaint for review be dismissed if the costs of record preparation are not paid. 735 ILCS 5/3-109.

Final orders of the circuit courts in administrative review are reviewable by appeal in the appellate and supreme courts. 735 ILCS 5/3-112. However, an order of remand is not a final order subject to such review if the agency must do more than enter a judgment or decree in accordance with the court's directions. The circuit court retains jurisdiction of the action until a final disposition is made. Thus, the agency must first issue its decision on remand before a review of the judgment of the circuit court may be taken.

B. In appeals in which a change of $300,000 or more in assessed valuation was sought before the Board, direct review is afforded in the appellate court for the district in which the property is situated. A change in assessed valuation of $300,000 or more is the difference between the board of review's final assessment and the proposed assessment sought by the appellant on his petition for appeal with the Board.


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