By Gary H. Smith
Chicago and Cook County Property Tax Appeal Attorney
(Posted June 10, 2016)
The Cook County 2015 Second Installment property tax bills are being calculated at this time. The tax bills will be issued by July 1, 2016. All second installment tax bills will be due on or about August 1, 2016 (as indicated on the bill).
Here’s what you need to know:
If your property is within the city of Chicago…
Your property was reassessed in 2015. Your 2015 assessment is probably higher than your prior assessments.
(Of course, this may not be the case if you are a client of the Law Offices of Gary H. Smith, P.C. A large minority of my clients’ assessments remained essentially the same, or were actually lower than the prior year, as a result of this office’s efforts.)
Assuming your local property tax rates and multiplier factor are the same as in 2014, your 2015 tax increase will be in proportion to the assessment level increase. Most likely, Chicago’s tax rate for 2015 is going to be much higher than the 2014 rate.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago City Council last year passed the largest property tax increase in the history of Chicago. The Chicago tax rate will have to be increased in order for the city to fund the budget.
The calculation of your actual tax bill involves the tax rate set by local taxing bodies and a multiplier determined at the county level.
The 2015 multiplier is approximately 3 percent less. But we predict the Chicago tax rate will be as much as 14 to 17 percent higher than last year. That means if your 2015 assessment actually stayed the same as the prior year, your 2015 property taxes will be approximately 11 to 14 percent more than the year before.
If your property is in Northern Cook County…
For most taxing districts in Northern Cook County, property tax rates are expected to be similar to 2014 levels. The bill you will receive this July should be relatively similar to the last year’s bill.
However, your property is being reassessed this year (2016). The 2016 reassessment notice you received (or will receive) will be factored into the tax bill you will receive in 2017. In order to protect yourself from a tax increase on your 2017 bill, you must reduce the 2016 assessment now.
If your property is in Southern Cook County…
Your property was reassessed in 2014. The amount of any assessment change was already factored into last year’s property tax bill. Your first installment of 2015 (55 percent of last year’s taxes) was probably much higher than your first installment 2014, but the second installment should be approximately one-half of your last year’s tax bill.
If you own commercial or business property…
If you have a commercial, industrial, apartment or other rental building, you should consider appealing your assessment this year, no matter where in Cook County you do business. Yearly condition, occupancy and economic factors may affect your assessment each year.
For property owners in all of Cook County…
If you think your property taxes are too high, there is always an opportunity to appeal. Contact the Law Offices of Gary H. Smith, P.C. today and we’ll help you navigate through the complicated tax appeals process.
More than 80 percent of our clients are awarded reductions in their taxes. Call us for assistance at 312-236-7447.