Farm Assessment

Farm Land Assessments in Illinois

For farmland, the tax cycle begins in May of the prior assessment year. The IL Department of Revenue is required by state statute to certify to each Chief County Assessment Officer by May 1 the next years assessed value for farms by soil productivity index. A soil productivity index will be explained later in this data. On or about June 1 each Chief County Assessment Officer will hold a meeting with the county Farm Land Assessment Review Committee, which is 3 farmers appointed at large by the chair of the County Board, the chair (or its appointee) of the Board of Review and the Chief County Assessment Officer as chair of the committee. The committee meets to discuss the values certified by the Dept. and make any recommendations. If no changes are warranted, (most typically), a public hearing is held to inform the public of the next year assessment values. The following January the assessments are applied, and approximately 18 months later a tax bill is paid.

Technical aspects to value

By May 1 of each year, the Department shall certify to each Chief County Assessment Officer the following, calculated from data provided by the Farmland Technical Advisory Board, (5 members appointed by the Director of Revenue to process the values), on a per acre basis by soil productivity index for harvested cropland, using moving averages for the most recent 5-year period for which data are available:

  • Gross income, estimated by using yields per acre as assigned to soil productivity indices, the crop mix for each soil productivity index as determined by the College of Agriculture of the University of Illinois and average prices received by farmers for principal crops as published by the Illinois Crop Reporting Service.

  • Production costs, other than land costs, provided by the College of Agriculture of the University of Illinois.

  • Net return to land, which shall be the difference between the above.

  • A proposed agricultural economic value determined by dividing the net return to land by the moving average of the Federal Land Bank farmland mortgage interest rate as calculated by the Department.

  • The equalized assessed value per acre of farmland for each soil productivity index, which shall be at 33.33 percent of the agricultural economic value, or the percentage as provided under Section 17-5 of 35 Il Compiled Statutes 200; but any increase or decrease in the equalized assessed value per acre by soil productivity index shall not exceed 10 percent from the immediate preceding year’s soil productivity index certified assessed value. (added) Note: It is important to understand that the percent increase/decrease is the soil p.i. and not the total farm parcel assessment. In some cases, after selling off a part of a parcel, assessments may actually increase. Also, approximately 30 percent of Illinois has not received a current detailed soil survey. When implementing for the first time and even re-implementing a soil survey, soil classifications may change, thereby changing a p.i. The adjusted p.i. value, while subject to the 10 percent limitation, may in fact change an assessment by more than the limitation provision.

  • A proposed average equalized assessed value per acre of cropland for each individual county, weighted by the distribution of soils by productivity index in the county.

  • A proposed average equalized assessed value per acre for all farmland in each county, weighted (i) to consider the proportions of all farmland acres in the county which are cropland, permanent pasture, and other farmland, and (ii) to reflect the valuations for those types of land and debasements for slope and erosion.


Cropland, permanent pasture and other farmland shall be defined according to U.S. Census Bureau definitions in use during that assessment year and assessed in the following way:

  • Cropland shall be assessed in accordance with the equalized assessed value of its soil productivity index as certified by the Department and shall be debased to take into account factors including, but not limited to, slope, drainage, ponding, flooding, and field size and shape.

  • Permanent pasture shall be assessed at 1/3 of its debased productivity index equalized assessed value as cropland.

  • Other farmland shall be assessed at 1/6 of its debased productivity index equalized assessed value as cropland.

  • Wasteland shall be assessed on its contributory value to the farmland parcel.