Real Estate Transfer Tax Forms

Real Estate Transfer Tax

  • In person purchase of the stamp is permitted with advance notice from 8am-4:30pm, M-F, at the Municipal Services Building, 800 N Field Dr. Please let us know you are coming - email Crystal Edwards.
  • Acceptable forms of payment include wire transfer, cash or cashier’s/attorney/real estate agent/title company check payable to the City of Lake Forest.
  • Arrangements can be made to send the stamp via FedEx/UPS when a prepaid label is provided.
  • Exempt Stamps: Please submit a completed City Exempt Declaration, copy of deed and $50 check payable to the City of Lake Forest, via US mail, FedEx, or in person.

history
On March 21, 2006, Lake Forest voters approved a referendum that allowed the City to impose a Real Estate Transfer Tax on the sale of real estate within the City. Revenues generated from the transfer tax fund infrastructure improvements (repairs to streets, sewers, bridges, etc.) that would otherwise be postponed or eliminated. The Lake Forest City Council believes that well-maintained streets, sewers, etc. help support and preserve community character and property values.

The Lake Forest City Council approved an ordinance specifying that the tax be applied as follows:

  • The transfer tax be levied on the buyer of any residential or commercial real estate in The City of Lake Forest. 
  • The transfer tax be imposed on all transactions which close on or after July 5, 2006.
  • A refund of the transfer tax paid in an amount up to $2,000 will be  refunded to Lake Forest residents who move between residences within Lake Forest within a 1 year period. 
  • Individuals refinancing their home or changing a name on their deed must apply for an exemption stamp.  See Exempt Transactions.

What is the Real Estate Transfer Tax rate?

The rate is $4.00 per $1,000 of the full actual consideration (purchase price); tax rounded up to the next $5.00 increment. Levied on residential and commercial real estate transactions, the tax is paid by the buyer prior to closing. For example, the transfer tax on a property with Full Actual Consideration of $1,014,000, will be $4,060.00.



Real Estate Transactions in Lake Forest

Selling/Buying a Single Family Home

SELLER

  • Do you know your closing date? Please email Utility Billing  or call 847.810.3620 to schedule your final water meter reading as soon as you know the closing date.
  • Apply for a Home  Sewer Inspection with the Community Development Department. Upon receipt of a completed application and payment of the $150 fee, the inspector will schedule the inspection with you, or your designee. Once the inspection has passed, the Certificate of Compliance is provided to Utility Billing.
    • Municipal Services Building . 800 N Field Dr, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • Inspector Paul Petersen 847.810.3509 
  • Pay your final utility bill. Utility Billing will prepare your final bill five (5) business days prior to your scheduled closing date. We will email the final bill with payment instructions, along with any other outstanding amounts due the City. Prompt payment is appreciated and dependent on buyer’s ability to purchase the transfer tax stamp.
  • Seller’s attorney emails required Real Estate Transfer Tax documents to Crystal Edwards

BUYER

  • Please provide us with your contact information - email Crystal Edwards and/or the Utility Billing Clerk. As a courtesy, we will contact you to purchase the transfer tax stamp once the seller has paid their final utility bill.
  • Do you have correct form of payment? We do not accept personal check or credit card for payment of the tax. Acceptable forms of payment are cash, cashier’s check, attorney or real estate agent check, made payable to The City of Lake Forest. Wire transfer instructions are also available upon request.
  • Got water? In Lake Forest, the transition from one owner to another is seamless. There is no interruption in City provided services, such as water and garbage pickup. When we closed the seller’s utility account, we opened a new utility account for you. Please be sure we have a reliable phone number for you.

Selling/Buying a Condominium or Vacant Land

SELLER

  • Do you know your closing date? Please email Crystal Edwards or call 847.810.3618. We do not require the Home Inspection or final water meter reading, but we will need to check for any open permits or other outstanding issues to be resolved.
  • Seller’s attorney emails required Real Estate Transfer Tax documents to Crystal Edwards

BUYER

  • Please provide us with your contact information - email Crystal Edwards or call 847.810.3618. As a courtesy, we will contact you when you are able to purchase the transfer tax stamp.
  • Do you have the correct form of payment? We do not accept personal check or credit card for payment of the tax. Acceptable forms of payment are cash, cashier’s check, attorney or real estate agent check, made payable to The City of Lake Forest. Wire transfer instructions are also available upon request.


Transfer Tax Refund

City Council determined that a refund of the transfer tax paid in an amount up to $2,000 would be given to Lake Forest residents who purchase and sell a residence within Lake Forest within a 1 year period.

  • Lake Forest residents who sell and purchase property in Lake Forest within a year of each other can apply for a refund by completing the Real Estate Transfer Tax Refund Form.
  • Unless applied for within one year, a refund of the paid Real Estate Transfer Tax will not be given.
  • This Form must be notarized and submitted to the Finance Department at the Municipal Services Building at 800 N Field Dr via mail, drop box, or email.
  • Please allow 4 weeks for processing.


Transactions Exempt from Transfer Tax

The City of Lake Forest Real Estate Transfer Tax Ordinance specifically exempts certain transactions from taxation, except for the first $50.00 of the tax imposed. These exemptions are listed in Section 39-159 of the City Code.

  • Submit the completed Declaration, Deed (copy or original), and $50 minimum tax payment.
    • In person at the Finance Counter of the Municipal Services Building, 800 N Field Dr, Lake Forest
    • Via mail or FedEx with stamped return envelope or prepaid label, to The City of Lake Forest, 800 N Field Dr, Lake Forest, IL 60045 Attn: Jamese Scott (Please allow 1-2 business days for processing)
  • Review the Exemption List to see if the transaction qualifies as exempt. City staff reserves the right to request additional documentation to support the claimed exemption.
  • Fill in the required information below, paying close attention to:
    • Include Exempt Paragraph Letter from Exemption List
    • Include brief explanation of exempt transaction (ex. Transfer from individuals into trust)
    • Grantor and Grantee printed on this Declaration should reflect accompanying Deed.
  • As provided in Section 39.156(E) of the City Code, before issuance of an exempt stamp the City will confirm there are no outstanding amounts owed. You will be notified of any matters that need attention.
  • Please note: If the exempt transaction results in a change of ownership (i.e. gifting of property), the City will require a Home Inspection and Final Utility Bill. You will be notified of these requirements.

Questions? Email Jamese Scott, or call 847.810.3622

 

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