Frequently Asked Questions

My mortgage company pays my taxes. Why did I receive a bill?

Tax bills are mailed to the property owner. Property owners need to be informed of the property tax system. If you escrow your taxes, please forward your tax bill to your escrow company, after careful examination of the bill. You should be aware of the amount of tax and tax rates, your assessed value and exemptions. Several years ago a very active secondary and tertiary market on mortgages during the tax collection season put homeowners in real jeopardy. Mortgages were sold and traded at due date times which caused many delinquencies. The property owner is ultimately responsible for the taxes being paid on time. If taxes are delinquent, the owner is responsible for penalties and interest, no matter what arrangement you may have with your mortgage company, bank or escrow company. A tax bill is often requested as proof of residency. ​

What will happen if I don't pay my property taxes?

A lien on your property may be sold by the County to recover the amount of taxes due. If this is done, you will retain the right to redeem your property for two and one-half years if the property is your principal dwelling and has no more than six apartment units. Other property must be redeemed within two years. To redeem it, you will have to pay penalties and interest in addition to any tax due. Failure to redeem could result in the loss of your property. More information may be found here.

Does a late tax payment affect my credit score?

No, the Treasurer's Office does not report to any credit bureau.

Where do my property taxes go?

Revenue raised from property taxes supports 5,900 units of local government in Illinois. About 60 percent of your property tax goes to school taxing districts. Cities, counties, townships and special purpose taxing districts share the rest. To view a chart of last years' distribution breakdown click here.

Will I be notified if my assessment is going to be increased?

Yes. Any changes in real estate assessments must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in St. Clair County every year. Every four years, when all property is reassessed, a complete list of assessments will be published. In addition, all taxpayers must be mailed a notice of any change in their assessment from the prior year. More specific assessment information may be found in the Assessor's Office​.

Why are my taxes so high?

Your taxes may be high, or higher than they were last year, for any or all of three general reasons. First, the taxing district in which your property is located may have asked for more property tax money than they received before. A district may ask for more tax money because of inflationary pressure, because it plans to provide more services, or because other revenues are being reduced. Second, your tax bill may be higher than bills for similar properties in the same district because your property is over assessed relative to these properties. Finally, your taxes may be high because other properties in a taxing district are receiving exemptions allowed by law.

Can I pay my taxes in monthly installments?

Yes. Homeowners wishing to budget for next year’s tax payment are encouraged to utilize the Treasurer’s Office’s monthly payment plan. The program allows homeowners to make smaller, more manageable payments towards next year’s tax bill. The program is extremely flexible and open to all homeowners, provided all taxes are current and the property has the Homeowner Occupied Exemption applied. Enrollment opens in August and payments begin in September. Participants may choose to mail checks or can authorize the Treasurer to automatically withdraw funds from a bank account. The program neither extends nor changes any due dates, but offers homeowners an easy, budget-friendly method of meeting their tax responsibility. 

To find out more about the installment plan see our Documents & Forms page​.

If I own multiple parcels may I pay with one check?

Yes. Please ensure that your addition is correct. List parcel numbers on the check, or include an additional page listing all of the parcel numbers. Include all of the tax bill stubs (coupons). Carefully tear the coupons from the bottom portion of your tax bill. Do NOT include the entire bill. Retain the top portion of your tax bills for your records.

Can I pay my taxes by credit card?

Credit Card and electronic check payments may be made on-line. A convenience charge of 2.5% will be applied to credit card payments. Electronic check payments will add an additional service fee of $2.00. The online system accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. You will need to access your parcel number and follow the payment links. Please note the credit card and E-Check systems will be shut down at 3:00 p.m. on the last day to avoid publication and the last day to pay and avoid tax sale.

If I pay my taxes by mail, how can I obtain a receipt?

You can verify payment postings and print receipts from our Parcel and Real Estate Tax Inquiry​. Please allow sufficient processing time. You can search for current and multiple prior year tax information.