Champaign County doesn’t allow looking up property by name. We made it searchable again.

You are currently viewing Champaign County doesn’t allow looking up property by name. We made it searchable again.Darrell Hoemann
Brookens Admin Center in Urbana, IL 61801 on Wednesday, December 15, 2021. Photo by Darrell Hoemann/CU-CitizenAccess

Although the Champaign County Assessment Office has a property tax lookup tool developed by the software company DEVNET, the office decided to remove the ability to search properties by owner name.

It allowed it for some time — then eliminated the option, unlike nearly every other county in Illinois that did permit the public to search public property tax records by an owner’s first and last name. DEVNET is used by dozens of counties in Illinois.

Champaign County Treasurer Cassandra Johnson said in late 2023 that she stood by her predecessor Dan Welch’s decision to remove the name search for all properties, citing concerns about individuals with “capitalist ventures” using it to target specific groups, such as the elderly. However, anyone wanting the entire database of property records can file a Freedom of Information Act request for it.

In other counties, such as Madison and Douglas, assessors spoke positively about the advantages of allowing name searches. Douglas County Assessor Cynthia Baer emphasized the ease and efficiency of searching by name, while Madison County’s Assessor, Denise Shores, highlighted how transparency and accessibility improved service quality.

“There is no reason for us to be secretive. You can Google a name and find an address. If security is an issue, it has already been breached when you step foot on the internet,” Shores said.

The DEVNET contract, initiated in December 2018, has cost taxpayers over $420,000 over five years.

As a public service, CU-CitizenAccess has created a simplified, searchable version of the database available for the public, for free, to look up any property in Champaign County by owner name. 

Tax years 2023, 2022, 2021, and 2020 are searchable.

Read more:

Champaign County still prevents online name searches of property records, differing from most Illinois counties. Now it plans to limit searching mobile home properties.

Champaign County’s removal of property tax search by name sought by officials seeking privacy, but decision confounds other assessors

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