Appeal Basics for Cook County Property Owners

A Cook County property tax appeal is a formal request by an owner to challenge official taxing bodies for a reduction in assessed valuation or to make a change in the Assessor’s property records. Most appeals are for a reduction in assessed valuations, the basis for lowering an owner’s property tax bill

$5,645 Savings est. over 2 years Due to Property Tax Solutions’ appeal


Two Opportunities To Appeal in Cook County

Cook County Assessor’s Office – The primary function of the Assessor, an elected official, is to assess each of the County’s 1.8 million properties at a fair and equitable market value. The Assessor also grants tax exemptions and special incentives. Property Tax Solutions has generally found the Board of Review to be more generous in granting relief than the Assessor.

Cook County Board of Review – Led by three elected Commissioners representing three districts, the Cook County Board of Review is vested with quasi-judicial powers to adjudicate taxpayer complaints and recommend exempt status for real property. The Board is formally dedicated to providing taxpayers with fair and impartial judgment. Only an owner or the owner’s licensed attorney may submit appeals to this body.

 

To maximize chances for a more favorable outcome, Property Tax Solutions aims to submit appeals twice, once to the Assessor and again to the Board, when adequate justification exists. Appeals to the Board have been shown to grant more favorable and impartial decisions.

 

Requirements for an Appeal

Deadlines are enforced by both the Assessor and the Board of Review. A missed deadline means a missed opportunity. There are no second chances.

Three documents are essential for Property Tax Solutions to appeal your taxes at both the Assessor and Board of Review: Two attorney representation agreements – one for each governing body – and a Property Tax Solutions Representation Agreement. New client documents are required at each Cook County appeal level every year. The two-level appeal process is lengthy, but can be well worth the time. Click Here to sign up now.

Note: Additional analysis and documentation may be required for more complex appeals. These include residential mixed-use properties without a homeowner exemption, commercial and industrial buildings, uninhabitable and vacant properties, recent sales, multi-improvements , etc. Timely cooperation from clients is essential to successfully complete these appeals.

Timeline for an Assessor and board of review Appeal

Time from Open Filing Deadlines to the Official Decision
Notifications for all 38 Cook County Townships

 
How Long Appeal Savings Will Last

A property’s lower assessed valuation from a winning appeal will, in most cases, remain in effect until your township's next scheduled Triennial Reassessment. This can be one, two or even three full years after a successful appeal. When your township is scheduled for reassessment, watch your mailbox for the Assessor’s letter announcing your property’s new valuation. A winning appeal during a reassessment year generally results in three years of savings—the maximum possible number.

Not all reductions in assessed valuations will remain in effect until the next Triennial reassessment. For example, a tax reduction on a building deemed uninhabitable tends to be granted for the length of time needed to complete a major reconstruction—often about a year. Lower valuations based on recent sales, rental vacancies caused by market conditions and new construction may also run a shorter term.

Cook County’s Triennial Reassessment

The County is divided into three geographical areas:
1 – Northern and Northwestern suburbs, 2 – City of Chicago and 3 – Southern and Southwestern suburbs.

Triennial Reassessments are scheduled in alternating years for each area. The Assessor’s goal is to bring estimated property values in line with fair market values, which represent the approximate sale price that a property would likely fetch on the open market in an arm’s-length transaction.

With more than 1.8 million properties, the Assessor draws upon sales data and economic analysis supported by computerized systems to determine estimated fair market valuations. Flaws in the computations of assessed values for such a vast number of properties are inevitable, despite recent efforts by the Assessor to tweak the process.

While the goal in selling a property is to secure the highest price, your goal for a successful property tax appeal is just the opposite: To reduce your property’s value to the lowest amount allowed under the law.

Our Fees

Property Tax Solutions does not charge clients unless the County grants a reduction in your property’s assessed value. We have no retainer fees, no processing fees and there are no up-front costs. If we don't win, you don't owe us for our services. The only way we earn money is by reducing our clients’ tax bills.

If the County grants a reduction in your property’s assessed valuation, your tax bill will be less than it would have been had you done nothing, guaranteed. Clients, however, should not expect a check for a winning appeal. Instead, the savings will be reflected in your second installment tax bill. A favorable decision on a 2019 tax appeal will lower your 2020 second installment tax bill, which will be due August 1. This is because Cook County property taxes are billed in arrears.

Property Tax Solutions’ only charge is half of the first-year’s savings. That means 100% of any savings in years 2 and 3 (until your township’s next Triennial Reassessment) go directly into your pocket.

Savings computed for Property Tax Solutions invoices rely on the last known State Equalizer, local tax rate and exemption discounts at the time the County announces results. The reason is that the Illinois equalization factor and local tax rates are not available until May or June of the following year, which could be 12 to 15 months after completing the work on your appeal. If you still have property tax questions, please feel free to call our office.

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$2,193 Savings over 1 year Due to Property Tax Solutions’ appeal

If you have additional questions about your Cook County property taxes, please contact Property Tax Solutions

info@PropertyTaxSolutions.com 312-448-9992 312-448-9994