The Cook County Assessor’s Office plans to provide a COVID-19 adjustment to property values for the 2020 property tax year, to be paid in 2021.
Reassessments to Reflect Rental Income Loss
Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi is undertaking the reassessment in wake of the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic. For instance, commercial landlords will see reduced rental income as stores, restaurants and other small businesses remain closed. On the residential side, landlords face uncertainty on their ability to collect rent because of high unemployment numbers.
According to the Cook County Assessor’s office, other reasons for the reassessment include:
- Record-breaking number of unemployment claims in Illinois
- Disaster declarations encompassing Cook County were issued at the federal, state, and county levels
Even landlords who have worked out temporary rent reductions or other arrangements with their tenants will still have properties credited for losses.
For those who are in the south suburbs, which is the suburb that is the region schedule for reassessment under normal circumstances next year, the process will take place as it normally would once reassessment work resumes.
However, Kaegi’s office is asking property owners, who believe their property has lost value because of the coronavirus pandemic, to file appeals, although the assessor’s office says that even those who do not appeal their property values now could see changes in their assessments.
Commercial property owners are asked to use the Real Property Income and Expense Form to appeal their property assessment. The office is creating a similar form for residential property owners who have tenants residing there, to be used for the pandemic appeals process.
Some other changes that the assessor’s office has taken to respond to COVID include:
- Online appeals can be filed for all property types
- Online filings for Certificates of Error for Exemptions are available for tax year 2016, 2017 and 2018
- Practitioners filing appeals must file online
The full effect of this reassessment process to account for COVID-related losses until August 2021, which is when the second installment of the 2020 property tax bills are mailed. The value the Cook County Assessor’s office puts on properties determines the property owner’s share of the property tax burden once local governments and other taxing bodies determine their budgets for schools, public safety, and other services.