At this time of year, we hear many complaints from our homeowner and investor clients about their real estate tax assessments. Much anger and hostility is directed towards the assessor by people who believe that their property has been over valued. However, the assessor is not really the problem. For one, the assessor must base his valuation on an average of the last three years, not just the current market condition. Also, the assessed value of an individual property merely determines what portion of the tax burden you must pay to each taxing body. The only real way to get property tax reductions is to get the government to spend less. The amount each school district, village, fire district, etc., spends is determined by their tax levy. The assessed value of your home is compared with the assessed value of the other properties in the taxing district and the amount each property owner pays is then allocated based on their assessed value. Unless and until tax levies are lowered, your property tax bill will continue to increase. Property owners need to spend more time encouraging elected government officials to lower their tax levies in light of the current economy. The real anger and hostility should be directed as those whose budgets expand every year regardless of need and not at the assessor charged merely with proportioning the tax burden.