Gary H. Smith
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Did You Take Advantage of Property Tax Abatement? Your Next Tax Bill May Shock You

By Gary Smith
Did You Take Advantage of Property Tax Abatement? Your Next Tax Bill May Shock You

Property tax abatement programs ease the property tax burden for homeowners in Cook County by reducing or eliminating property taxes in areas that are built through new construction or those going through major rehabilitation.

7 Programs Within Cook County Offer Incentives

Cook County offers several tax-abatement programs aimed to renew urban areas through development. These have an end goal of increasing the overall tax revenue for the area.

Some of the tax-abatement programs in Cook County include:

  • Class 6(b) Property Tax Incentive: This program reduces real estate assessments to 10 percent, from the standard 25 percent, for 10 years, then raises it to 15 percent in year 11 and 20 percent in year 12. To qualify, properties must be used for industrial purposes and involve either new construction, substantial rehab and/or re-occupancy of abandoned industrial property.
  • Class 7(a) and 7(b) Tax Incentive: This incentive lowers property taxes the same amount as Class 6(b) does but is aimed at commercial projects in specific areas that are designated either as Redevelopment Areas, Empowerment or Federal Enterprise Zones.
  • Class 7(c) Tax Incentive: This program is also called the Commercial Urban Relief Eligibility program. There is no minimum investment, and it does not matter where the commercial property is located. It offers a three-year reduction in real estate assessments, from 25 percent to 10 percent. In year four, that goes up to 15 percent and for year five it is 25 percent.
  • Class 8 Property Tax Incentive: This incentive applies to properties in areas that are in a severe economic depression. The rates are the same as under the Class 6(b) incentive.
  • Class C Property Tax Incentive: This program focuses on substantial environmental contamination that requires remediation that cost more than $100,000, or 25 percent of the property’s market value. The rates are the same as the Class 6(b) incentive.
  • Class L Property Tax Incentive: This is a landmark-specific abatement program, to encourage rehabilitation of official City landmarks or buildings within a designated landmark district. Qualifying properties are assessed at 10 percent for the first 10 years, 15 percent for the 11th year and 20 percent for the 12th year. This program applies to commercial, industrial and multi-family properties, and the rehabs must meet or exceed the U.S. Department of the Interior’s standards.