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:
Assessment for a $300,000 Property
The Assessment directly impacts the property tax bill. An increase in the assessment can increase the property taxes.
|Prior Assessment||New Assessment|
|X Level of Assessment||X 10%||X 10%|
|X Sample Equalization Rate||X 2.9||X 2.9|
|= Equalized Assessment||$87,000||$116,000|
|X Sample Tax Rate||9%||9%|
|= Taxes (prior to exemption)||$7,830||$10,440|
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 or Circuit Court).
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.
Cook County Property Tax Triennial Reassesment Cycle
Property in Cook County is reassessed once every three years by the Cook County Assessor. The Assessor reassesses on a rotating basis through three assessment districts so that only one district is being reassessed in any given year. The three districts are the City, North and South. Each district is further broken down in to 37 Townships, with 8 to 16 townships in each district. The Assessor and the Board of Review will open 30 day windows each year to file appeals for each of the Townships. It is critical to make sure an appeal is filed within the 30 day window for the appropriate Township. A property owner will only receive notice of the 30 day window from the Assessor once every three years when the property is reassessed.
The following table provides a guide to determining the Township, Reassessment District, and Triennial Assessment Years, but the Cook County Property Tax Portal should be checked to accurately determine the Township because the township boundary lines are not always along municipal boundaries lines (http://www.cookcountypropertyinfo.com/default.aspx). For example, parts of Glenview can be found in five different Townships.
|Barrington||Barrington, Barrington Hills, East Dundee, Hoffman Estates, Inverness, South Barrington||North||2019, 2022, 2025, 2027|
|Berwyn||Berwyn||South||2017, 2020, 2023, 2026|
|Bloom||Chicago Heights, Flossmoor, Ford Heights, Glenwood, Homewood, Lansing, Lynwood, Olympia Fields, Park Forest, Sauk Village, South Chicago Heights, Steger||South||2017, 2020, 2023, 2026|
|Bremen||Blue Island, Country Club Hills, Crestwood, Hazel Crest, Harvey, Homewood, Markham, Midlothian, Oak Forest, Orland Park, Posen, Robbins, Tinley Park||South||2017, 2020, 2023, 2026|
|Calumet||Blue Island, Calumet Park, Riverdale||South||2017, 2020, 2023, 2026|
|Cicero||Cicero||South||2017, 2020, 2023, 2026|
|Elk Grove||Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village, Mount Prospect, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, Wood Dale||North||2019, 2022, 2025, 2027|
|Evanston||Evanston||North||2019, 2022, 2025, 2027|
|Hanover||Bartlet, Elgin, Hanover Park, Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg, South Barrington, Streamwood||North||2019, 2022, 2025, 2027|
|Hyde Park||Chicago||City||2018, 2021, 2024, 2026|
|Jefferson||Chicago||City||2018, 2021, 2024, 2026|
|Lake||Chicago||City||2018, 2021, 2024, 2026|
|Lake View||Chicago||City||2018, 2021, 2024, 2026|
|Lemont||Lemont, Palos Park, Willow Springs, Woodridge||South||2017, 2020, 2023, 2026|
|Leyden||Bensenville, Elmwood Park, Franklin Park, Melrose Park, Norridge, Northlake, Park Ridge, River Grove, Rosemont, Schiller Park||North||2019, 2022, 2025, 2027|
|Lyons||Bedford Park, Bridgeview, Brookfield, Burr Ridge, Countryside, Hickory Hills, Hinsdale, Hodgkins, Indian Head Park, Justice, La Grange, Lyons, McCook, Riverside, Summit, Western Springs, Willow Springs||South||2017, 2020, 2023, 2026|
|Maine||Des Plaines, Glenview, Park Ridge, Morton Grove, Niles, Rosemont||North||2019, 2022, 2025, 2027|
|New Trier||Glencoe, Glenview, Kenilworth, Northfield, Wilmette, Winnetka||North||2019, 2022, 2025, 2027|
|Niles||Glenview, Golf, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Skokie||North||2019, 2022, 2025, 2027|
|North Chicago||Chicago||City||2018, 2021, 2024, 2026|
|Northfield||Des Plaines, Glencoe, Glenview, Northbrook, Northfield, Prospect Heights, Wilmette||North||2019, 2022, 2025, 2027|
|Norwood Park||Harwood Heights, Norridge, Park Ridge||North||2019, 2022, 2025, 2027|
|Oak Park||Oak Park||South||2017, 2020, 2023, 2026|
|Orland||Orland Hills, Orland Park, Tinley Park||South||2017, 2020, 2023, 2026|
|Palatine||Arlington Heights, Barrington, Deer Park, Hoffman Estates, Inverness, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, South Barrington||North||2019, 2022, 2025, 2027|
|Palos||Bridgeview, Hickory Hills, Orland Park, Palos Heights, Palos Hills, Palos Park, Willow Springs, Worth||South||2017, 2020, 2023, 2026|
|Proviso||Bellwood, Berkeley, Broadview, Brookfield, Elmhurst, Forest Park, Hillside, La Grange Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, North Riverside, Northlake, Oak Brook, Stone Park, Westchester, Western Springs||South||2017, 2020, 2023, 2026|
|Rich||Country Club Hills, Flossmoor, Frankfort, Hazel Crest, Homewood, Matteson, Olympia Fields, Park Forest, Richton Park, Tinley Park, University Park||South||2017, 2020, 2023, 2026|
|River Forest||River Forest||South||2017, 2020, 2023, 2026|
|Riverside||Brookfield, Lyons, North Riverside, Riverside||South||2017, 2020, 2023, 2026|
|Rogers Park||Chicago||City||2018, 2021, 2024, 2026|
|Schaumburg||Elk Grove Village, Hanover Park, Hoffman Estates, Rolling Meadows, Roselle, Schaumburg, Streamwood||North||2019, 2022, 2025, 2027|
|South Chicago||Chicago||City||2018, 2021, 2024, 2026|
|Stickney||Bedford Park, Bridgeview, Burbank, Forest View, Nottingham Park, Stickney||South||2017, 2020, 2023, 2026|
|Thornton||Blue Island, Burnham, Calumet City, Dixmoor, Dolton, East Hazel Crest, Glenwood, Harvey, Hazel Crest, Homewood, Lansing, Markham, Phoenix, Posen, Riverdale, South Holland, Thornton||South||2017, 2020, 2023, 2026|
|West Chicago||Chicago||City||2018, 2021, 2024, 2026|
|Wheeling||Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Des Plaines, Glenview, Mount Prospect, Northbrook, Palatine, Prospect Heights, Rolling Meadows, Wheeling||North||2019, 2022, 2025, 2027|
|Worth||Alsip, Blue Island, Bridgeview, Chicago Ridge, Crestwood, Evergreen Park, Hometown, Merrionette Park, Oak Lawn, Palos Heights, Robbins, Worth||South||2017, 2020, 2023, 2026|