April 26, 2023
The 2023 Triennial Reassessment began this month with the Cook County Assessor's Office releasing several Townships' worth of new tax-values. Meaning, homeowners in the South and Western suburbs of Chicago now face a major property tax hike... The 2023 assessment appeal year is officially upon us.
The numbers so far? Well, they don't look encouraging for homeowners. Unfortunately.
PTS analyzed the overall assessment increases to Riverside, Oak Park, and Calumet Townships — a few of the Townships for which new 2023 Reassessment data is available. The per home hike across all class 2 residential properties averaged 33, 50, and 50 percent, for Riverside, Oak Park, and Calumet respectively.
Such increases almost always translate into a comparable-percentage hike on tax bills...
Owners in these Townships who wish to appeal their new tax assessments must make their intentions known in the near term. Others who own property in the Townships not yet reasssessed but under the gun 2023 may also register for an appeal at any time here on the website. New assessment data is needed before our savings calculator can offer a projection (and it works on any property in the County), but if you register now and would like to have one when the time comes, just let us know at email@example.com.
Other Townships up for reassessment in 2023 include Berwyn (open as of 4/24), Bloom, Bremen, Cicero (open as of 4/17), Lemont, Lyons, Orland, Palos, Proviso, Rich, River Forest, Stickney, Thornton, and Worth.
As regards the new numbers...
Does that sound right to you? Would a prospective buyer of a ranch in Riverside need to ante up 33 percent more than what was needed to seal the deal in 2020? Would a prairie style stucco affair in Oak Park run the buyer fully 50 percent more than in 2020? Does a bungalow in Calumet really cost time-and-a-half its going price just three years ago?
Our analysts at PTS don't think so. Not even close.
Take a look at the market's arc over the past three years: In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic and government lockdowns in response dipped the market at first but the end of the year saw prices climbing. In 2021, the climb continued with one of the hottest real estate markets in recent memory. 2022 saw a major cool-off of all markets, including real estate, with local selling prices tumbling more than 10 percent in spring 2022 versus spring 2021.
As interest rates continued to rise, the housing market continued on a downward trajectory. While prices have somewhat leveled off, the downward trajectory remains intact.
All told, our analysts consider the three-year change in local property values to be relatively flat. Perhaps an assessment hike is in order, but not a double-digit one, and certainly not insane hikes of 30 to 50 percent.
Apparently, that's not how the County sees things.
“In preparation for reassessments, I proactively met with mayors in the south and west suburbs to share trends in the real estate market over the past three years and explain the impact these trends have on reassessments,” Assessor Fritz Kaegi said in a press release. “This effort has also sparked meaningful conversation around economic development plans and provided valuable insight on the municipalities undergoing reassessment.”
One thing is clear to us: Economic development will not be "meaningful" in a struggling economy where local property tax burdens grow by 30 to 50 percent every time a reassessment occurs. It's simply impossible.
While the reassessment yet again appears steep, often new numbers fail the uniformity test. The Assessor's formulas may detect a high-value sale right next door to your property and commensurately hike your tax-value, but elsewhere on the block a property just like yours only saw a fraction of the increase.
This happens all the time, and, under Illinois State Law, you are entitled to an assessment no higher than the balance of others like it in the immediate area.
However, if you don't put your number to the test by appealing, you may never know. So, check your savings. It only takes a few seconds and could save you paying thousands of dollars in excess property tax to the County.
Even if you don't receive an assessment reduction at appeal, you'll still have peace of mind knowing you didn't overpay. Since our service is entirely based on contingency, you don't pay unless we lower your taxes. There is no risk and nothing to lose.