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State Board of Equalization - RG 401 | Illinois State Archives

Name: State Board of Equalization - RG 401

Historical Note:

The State Board of Equalization, created in 1867, was responsible for lowering or raising the total assessed value of property in any county to make property in that county bear a just relation to the assessed values of property in other counties of the state (L. 1867, p. 105).

The board met annually to examine abstracts of assessments of real and personal property which were prepared by the Auditor of Public Accounts from the assessment returns of each county clerk. The board examined and compared the assessed valuations presented by each county, determined if the valuations were too high or too low based on statewide valuations, and set a uniform rate for each county by which both real and personal property valuations would either be increased or reduced to their proper values. If reports of more than one-third of the townships in a county had not been received in time for the yearly meeting of the board, the Auditor of Public Accounts was empowered to equalize the assessments for that county upon full receipt of the reports.

In 1872 the board's equalization authority was extended to cover the property of railroad and telegraph companies and the capital stock of all companies or associations incorporated under the laws of Illinois (L. 1871, p. 1). Railroad property so assessed included real estate, railroad track, and rolling stock. In 1905 the board was directed not to assess the capital stock of companies and associations organized for purely manufacturing or mercantile purposes, for mining and sale of coal, for printing, for the publishing of newspapers, and for the improving and breeding of stock (L. 1905, p. 353). The State Board of Equalization was abolished in 1919 and its powers and duties were transferred to the newly created State Tax Commission (L. 1919, p. 718).

See also STATE TAX COMMISSION, RG 413.000.

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