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2017 Re-Assessment of South & Southwest Suburban Cook County

by Glenn Guttman

In Cook County, at least once every 3 years, the Assessor reviews and re-assesses approximately 1/3 of the County in what is termed a “triennial reassessment”.  In 2017, the South and Southwest Cook County suburbs are scheduled to be reassessed.  Next year, in 2018, the City of Chicago proper will be reassessed.  In 2019, the North and Northwest suburban areas will be reassessed.

Irrespective of WHEN a property is reassessed, it is always a good idea to have a real estate tax attorney review, and if warranted, file a property tax appeal with the appropriate agency hearing such matters.

Generally, throughout the State of Illinois, in any given year, appeals can be heard by the local township Assessor’s Office, the local County Board of Review, the Illinois State Property Tax Appeal Board, or in the County Circuit Court.  Each venue has different filing deadline dates, varying rules and procedures for filing of appeals, complaints, differing requirements for the presentation of evidence and what constitutes sufficient proof to show that a property is overvalued.  Because of these varying requirements, it is best to consult with and be represented by an attorney who is familiar with the multitude of details surrounding a presentation that is most likely to result in a tax savings.

Reasons for filing an assessment appeal could include the following:

  • A recent purchase of a property at a market value LESS than the market value indicated by the Assessor;
  • A recent appraisal indicating a final opinion of value that is LESS than the current market value established by the Assessor (i.e. refinancing appraisals; appraisals for estate purposes; ad valorem tax appraisals, etc.);
  • A physical change in the property that has rendered it unfit for its intended use or occupancy (i.e. fire, flood or wind damage, environmental contamination, etc.);
  • An economic condition that renders the property diminished in its income-producing capacity (e.g. partial or total vacancy due to a tenant being evicted, or leaving at the end of a lease term);
  • An error in the Assessor’s description of the property that differs from the property’s actual characteristics (e.g. a detached garage building that no longer exists, but still appears on the Assessor’s property record card);
  • Similar types of property (i.e. gas station, fast-food restaurant, industrial building, apartment building), despite being very similar, are being valued in a non-uniform manner.

These are just some, of a myriad of reasons, how a property may be considered to be overvalued.

Obviously, filing a property tax appeal may, if presented properly and with merit, lead to a lowering of the assessed value associated with the real property.  It stands to follow, that a lower assessment will translate into a lower property tax bill as well.  With a lower tax bill, the property is more economically viable if it is an income-producing investment, or more attractive to a potential buyer or tenant if the property is contemplated to be marketed for sale or lease.

For more information on this article, contact the Law offices of Rieff, Schramm, Kanter & Guttman.