It wouldn’t make sense for a fire protection district to pay taxes to itself on the real estate that it owns, like the fire house. And, if the fire district paid taxes to other taxing districts, then we would have tax monies collected from real estate taxes being paid for real estate taxes. Kind of a strange use of tax dollars.
As a result, units of local government in Illinois – like a fire protection district – aren’t required to pay real estate taxes on real estate that it owns, as long as the real estate is used for governmental purposes.
There’s a catch, however: the county officials that assess the taxes need to know that the real estate is owned by the fire district, and that it is used for qualifying fire service purposes. If the fire district’s property is not shown as exempt on the tax rolls, real estate taxes may become due. In many cases, a township assessor or county taxing authority will automatically renew a district’s exemption from year to year. This isn’t always the case, however.
As a result, it is the fire district’s responsibility to see that the county taxing records are correct. At the start of the new year, it would be good for one of the trustees to check, to make certain that county real estate tax records for all real estate owned by the district are correct.