by Bob Bramlette
Bryce Downey & Lenkov LLC is an IMA member law firm…
Our state still can’t pass a budget! Illinois universities, high schools and grade schools continue to receive less funding from Springfield. The unfunded pension obligation for Chicago Public School teachers is astronomical. As a result, local school taxing bodies are forced to request more from property owners.
Here are 5 things to know in order to effectively fight your property tax increase:
- COOK COUNTY REAL ESTATE TAXES ARE DETERMINED BY THREE COMPONENTS.
- Amount sought by local taxing bodies (e.g., municipalities, school districts, park districts): approved by city council/village boards; school boards; park district trustees. YOU VOTE FOR THESE PEOPLE DURING ELECTIONS!
- State real estate tax multiplier (Determined by Illinois Department of Revenue for those Illinois local taxing districts that overlap into two or more counties. If there were no equalization among counties, then substantial inequities among taxpayers with comparable properties would result.
- Assessed value of the property (Established by the County Assessor). YOU CAN APPEAL THIS VALUATION!
- WHEN CAN I APPEAL THE ASSESSED VALUATION?
Every 3 years the Cook County Assessor reassesses residential, commercial and industrial property. Property owners receive a written notice of the reassessment indicating the past and new assessed valuation. Appeal forms and time periods for filing appeals can be found on the Cook County Assessor’s website.
- HOW IS THE ASSESSED VALUATION DETERMINED?
There are many components that determine the assessed valuation, but square footage of the building/home is the key factor. Another important factor is the square footage of the land. The assessed value of a residential property located in Cook County is 10% of the property value as determined by the Cook County Assessor. The assessed value of a commercial or industrial property is 25% of the property value as determined by the Cook County Assessor.
- WHAT IS A GOOD THEORY TO APPEAL THE ASSESSED VALUATION OF MY HOME?
You can appeal the Assessor’s amount under various theories, including lack of uniformity. Lack of uniformity occurs when your neighbor’s home is larger and located on a larger lot, but has a lower assessed valuation. You can find information about your home and other homes in your neighborhood on the Assessor’s website. The appeal form, which is also on the web, requires you to provide your name, address, and the property tax number (“PIN”) for your home. List on the appeal the PIN’s for three of your neighbor’s homes that are larger than yours, but have lower assessed values.
HOW DO I APPEAL THE ASSESSED VALUATION OF MY BUSINESS?
Commercial and industrial properties are assessed in similar manners as residential homes. However, appeals for these properties generally involve an appraisal by a licensed MAI Appraiser. The appraiser will inspect the property and compare it with similar properties in the nearby area. The appraiser will analyze the property under three methods: sales comparison approach (estimate of value that compares the property with similar properties that have recently sold and have similar characteristics or indicators of value); cost approach (cost to construct the building less estimated depreciation); and the income approach (how much cash flow is generated). After making the calculations, the appraiser provides an overall value. The appraisal is a key document that accompanies the appeal form.
- WHEN WILL I RECEIVE A REPLY FROM THE ASSESSOR?
You should receive a determination within six to eight weeks after the deadline for filing an appeal. If you don’t like the new result, then you can file an appeal with the Cook County Board of Review. The Assessor’s Office and the Board of Review hear appeals for the various townships during select times of the year. Check the Assessor’s website to determine when the Assessor and the Board of Review are accepting appeals for your township.
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