The Appeals Process in Cook County
The property tax appeal process can be a very difficult and perplexing system of Constitutional rights, State laws, and County ordinances. There are several distinct administrative agencies and the courts, with each having its own rules, forms, policies, practices, and procedures that must be strictly followed for a successful appeal. Moreover, each property tax agency considers issues and arguments differently, and even contradictory—while one agency may completely reject an argument, another agency may agree unequivocally.
We are here to help you exercise your right as a property owner to obtain a correct and equitable assessment. The first step to understanding the property tax appeal process is understanding your property’s assessment and its impact on your property tax bill.
Property Tax Assessment
An assessment is a specific value placed on your property by the County which directly affects how much you pay in property taxes. Your assessment is based upon a percentage of your property’s market value. While property outside of Cook County is assessed at 33.33% of its market value, Cook County employs a classification system in which property is assessed at different percentages:
Non-Cook County @ 33%
Cook County Residential @ 10%
Cook County Commercial/Industrial @ 25%
|Prior Assessment||New Assessment|
|X Level of Assessment||X 10%||X 10%|
|X Sample Equalization Rate||X 2.9||X 2.9|
|= Equalized Assessment||$145,000||$174,000|
|X Sample Tax Rate||9%||9%|
|= Taxes (prior to exemption)||$13,050||$15,660|
As you can see, a $10,000 increase in your property’s assessment resulted in a $2,610 increase in your property taxes. Conversely, a decrease in your property’s assessment can decrease your property taxes. And this is why property tax appeals to reduce your assessment are so important to controlling your property tax bill.
Taxpayers in Cook County have access to a three-tiered administrative property tax appeal process. Each tier has its own rules, policies, practices, procedures, forms, and deadlines which must be strictly followed for a successful appeal. Taxpayers outside of Cook County have only a two tired appeal process (County Board of Review and State Property Tax Appeal Board).
You have a legal right to appeal your assessment. Each year thousands of people successfully appeal their assessments and receive reductions in their property taxes. For example, appeals on over 400,000 parcels were filed with the Cook County Board of Review in 2016.
Only a taxpayer or his or her attorney can file an appeal with the County Board of Review, the State Property Tax Appeal Board, and the Circuit Court—tax consultants cannot file appeals.
Uniquely experienced legal counsel can fight for the lowest possible assessment on your behalf. Contact us now to request a free property tax analysis.