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The Cook County Property Tax Assessor Wants Chicagoans to Appeal

By Gary H. Smith
01/09/2018
The Cook County Property Tax Assessor Wants Chicagoans to Appeal

The Cook County Assessor wants residential and commercial property owners to challenge their assessments because appeals are vital for accuracy. There are 1.8 million properties in Cook County, which makes it difficult to account for variances. Fewer than 5 percent of property owners file appeals even though 60 percent of the properties are over-assessed.

Why File Cook County Property Tax Appeals?

Property owners in Cook County should appeal their property tax assessments every chance they get. According to a spokesperson with the Cook County Tax Assessor’s Office, there is no likelihood that a property will be found to be worth more when the owner appeals the assessment. The Assessor’s Office uses a formula that takes into account the real estate market conditions and the sales prices of homes and businesses in the area in which the property is located. The formula is not changed simply to punish a property owner who files an appeal.

Appeals help give communities a voice in the assessment process. Property owners in Cook County are beginning to receive their assessments, and many have been shocked by how much the assessments have increased. In some cases, assessments have gone up by as much as 25 percent over the last assessments. By appealing tax assessments, property owners have a strong chance of reducing the property taxes that they will be forced to pay for the next three years. In 2016, more than half of the appeals that were filed were granted. When the appeals that were initially denied were appealed to the Cook County Board of Review, 80 percent were granted.

The Cook County Property Tax Appeal Process

Commercial and residential property owners should keep an eye out for their tax bills and appeal their assessments whenever they receive them in the mail. It is important that property owners act quickly once they receive their assessments because the deadline to appeal is usually around one month. The process for filing an appeal of a property tax assessment in Cook County is streamlined, making it a fairly straightforward process. Property owners begin by identifying comparable properties in their areas. They should look at the median sales prices of these properties and include this information in their appeals. Property tax lawyers may help to ensure the accuracy of their clients’ appeals.

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