Gary H. Smith
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Year in Review: Cook County Property Tax Assessment Reform
By Gary Smith
01/07/2020

It has been one year since Fritz Kaegi took over the Cook County Assessor’s office, and since then, he has instituted reforms, including transparency and uniformity in estimating the fair market value of each property. Commercial Property Assessments See Big […]

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Do You Need Help Understanding Your Assessment?
By Gary Smith
12/27/2019

When the property tax bill comes each year, it’s hard to focus on any other number except for the amount owed, but it’s important for taxpayers to understand how the county arrives at that bottom-line amount. How an Assessment Is […]

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Here’s How Your Estimated Property Tax Bill Is Calculated
By Gary Smith
12/19/2019

There is a lot of work behind the scenes that goes into how each property tax bill is calculated. For one portion of the county, this will be the first bill under the new assessment system introduced by Cook County […]

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Hundreds of Millions in Property Tax Breaks for Nonprofit Hospitals Are at Stake
By Gary Smith
12/12/2019

In a case in front of the Illinois Supreme Court, groups are challenging the state’s law that provides property tax exemptions to area not-for-profit hospitals in return for them providing free or discounted services to poor and underinsured people. However, […]

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Tax Relief for Spouses of Fallen First Responders
By Gary Smith
11/25/2019

As Cook County awaits the verdict on whether there will be another property tax increase, spouses of fallen first responders in Chicago are receiving some tax relief. Chicago’s City Council approved a new ordinance that provides property tax abatements for […]

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Cook County Property Owners: Where Are Your Tax Dollars Going?
By Gary Smith
11/18/2019

When Cook County property owners receive their tax bill each year, it’s hard to remember those dollars are used to fund various municipal offices, administrative costs and various government entities, which includes public schools, libraries, and often park district systems. […]

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Commercial Landlords: Brace for Big Tax Hikes
By Gary Smith
11/11/2019

In Cook County, the property tax burden has shifted to commercial and industrial properties and away from homeowners. The new Cook County assessor, Fritz Kaegi, began the process of reassessing properties in Cook County when he took office in January. […]

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Cook County Property Tax Break: Good News for Seniors
By Gary Smith
10/23/2019

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker recently signed into law House Bill 833, which amends the property tax code to automatically renew the Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption in Cook County once it’s been granted. This bill passed both the House and Senate […]

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Is Another Property Tax Hike on the Way in Cook County?
By Gary Smith
10/16/2019

Cook County property owners, who have already been dealing with lower average home prices and property tax bill increases since 2007, might be asked to pay even more in the coming year. Cook County’s chief financial officer and the Cook […]

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Renters: You May Qualify for Property Tax Exemptions
By Gary Smith
10/09/2019

A recent ruling in an Illinois Appellate Court could change the standard definition of who qualifies for the homestead tax exemption to include renters under certain circumstances. When Renters Are Liable for Property Taxes The Illinois Third District Appellate Court […]

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