Gary H. Smith
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Get Prepared Cook County Property Owners: Your Tax Bill Is Ready

By Gary Smith
Get Prepared Cook County Property Owners: Your Tax Bill Is Ready

Cook County first installment property tax bills which are due on March 3, 2020, are now available online. This year’s first installment bill was calculated at 55% of last year’s total bill.

To find the property’s tax bill on the Treasurer’s website, a property owner will need to know the 14-digit Property Identification Number. Property owners can pay the property tax bill in installments as long as the full amount is paid by the March 3 deadline.

Northern Suburbs Properties Re-Assessed

Cook County is divided into three regions for assessment purposes, and re-assessments take place every three years. This year, the northern suburbs will receive tax bills that reflect their region’s re-assessment. This the first time property owners will see the outcome of the new assessment methodology.

Property owners can appeal their tax bills regardless if it’s their region’s turn for re-assessment, but there is only a month-long window for each town. Owners can check the deadlines on the Cook County Assessor’s Website. Appealing in the year the property was re-assessed maximizes the potential savings.

The current tax bill is for the previous year. While the appeals process is taking place, property taxes will still need to be paid. If the appeal is successful, the adjustment will impact the second property tax bill that will arrive later this year.

Property owners can also file a Certificate of Error if there is a factual inaccuracy, like the wrong property classification or incorrect square footage.

Appealing Property Tax Assessments

Before a Cook County property tax lawyer appeals the assessment, he or she will typically review various types of property data, including the current market value, use of the property, recent improvements made, and other characteristics.

Commercial properties are handled differently because more documents are necessary, including a Real Estate Valuation Appeal form. This form contains the owner’s estimate of the current fair market value of the property, as well as a description of the basis of alleged overassessment.

Commercial property owners might also need to include a property summary sheet, owner/lessee verification affidavit, detailed income and expense data, vacancy affidavit, and more.

Documents can be submitted through the Cook County Assessor’s website.