By Gary H. Smith
Chicago and Cook County Property Tax Appeal Attorney
Thanks to the Internet, we live in a do-it-yourself world.
If you have the time and inclination, you can watch a few YouTube videos and learn how to replace the trap in your kitchen sink, prune your rose bush or apply for college financial aid.
The Cook County Assessor’s Office says you don’t need an attorney to file an appeal of your property tax assessment and they are right. Technically.
But here’s the fallacy.
Your total tax bill — the amount of money you must pay — is determined by the assessed valuation of your property and all the other properties in your taxing district.
For decades, the property owners with sufficient resources hired large law firms to file appeals. These firms have know-how and access to the system that was not available to the do-it-yourselfer.
The residential homeowner, the owner of a three-flat or the owner of a single small commercial building may not have been able to hire the big law firms. Even owners of apartment buildings, industrial properties and shopping centers may not know the system well to hire an attorney uniquely qualified to represent them in property tax appeals.
Making it possible for Cook County property owners to have representation at a reasonable cost
My goal is to make it possible for the average small, medium or large property owner to have representation at a reasonable and cost-effective fee. At the Law Offices of Gary H. Smith, we file your property tax assessment appeal with personalized attention to your particular situation. Having successfully obtained tax relief for thousands of clients over the years, we know the ins and outs of the Cook County property tax system.
Moreover, through my involvement with the Illinois Property Tax Lawyers Association, the Illinois State Bar Association and other legal groups, my input has helped shape a number of recent laws and procedural improvements that have made the appeals process more accessible and fair.
Hiring a lawyer to handle your real estate assessment appeal in Cook County may not be required. But when you retain my firm, you can rest assured that time-tested, effective legal strategies are employed, consistent with the appeal deadline schedule, following the proper procedures to make sure your assessed valuation is fair.