Property taxes have been slowly increasing to record highs causing homeowners to pay more and more per year on their homes. However, many homeowners are unaware they may appeal their property taxes and save considerable amounts on their taxes per year. Below I have laid out the ground work to begin your appeal to the Cook County Assessor for your current property tax assessment.
Your Tax Bill
Will contain information regarding PIN numbers and Townships
Your Pin Number
This identifies the location of your home
Correct County Assessor Website
The County website will show you comparable properties and information on exemptions.
Tax appeals can be laborious, but we are trying to save money!
The beginning to any successful appeal is to understand the Cook County Assessor’s Office has strict rules and guidelines that everyone must follow in order to successfully appeal their property tax bill. The first and foremost piece of information to gather is the property identification number(“PIN”) to your home. This information is crucial to determining deadlines and township information you will need to appeal your taxes at all administrative levels.
Once you have gathered this information, your first chance to appeal is within Thirty days (30) from receiving your assessment. During this time you must prepare your appeal. This can be time consuming, confusing, and frustrating. However, do not be discouraged. Below I have laid out the three “typical” avenues of appeal.
First, the most commonly used method of appealing your taxes is a lack of uniformity argument. This means your home has not been properly assessed as compared to the homes in your neighborhood. Under this approach, you will need to prepare evidence of comparable properties to submit to the Cook County Assessor evidencing your home has not been properly valued. As a tip, I recommend using at least four properties that you have found following a search of the Cook County Assessor database.
Second, if your home has been purchased within the last three years you may attempt to receive a reduction by way of your appraisal. This approach is document heavy and I recommend contacting your closing attorney or real estate agent to obtain documents including, but not limited to, your appraisal, title, and HUD statement. Please be sure to follow the Cook County Assessor Rules when following this approach as a missing document will negate your appeal.
Third, the Cook County Assessor may simply have bad information regarding your home. This appeal is based off facts that the assessed value of your home is simply not true (i.e. the Cook County database reflects your home has 5,000 square feet when in actuality it is only 1,700 square feet). This final approach is the least conventional of the previously mentioned appeals, but does not mean it will not be successful.
Once you have prepared all of your evidence it is time to prepare your argument and fill out all the Cook County Assessor’s forms. A checklist is provided on the Cook County Assessor ‘s website that may assist you in assuring you have provided all the necessary documentation. Following preparation of all necessary forms you may submit your complaint for online or travel to your local Assessor’s office to submit a hard copy. If you are to appeal online please keep in mind all evidence must be physically submitted to the Assessor’s office within seven days of your online submission.
Be aware, while you may have prepared all of the necessary documentation submitting an appeal does not guarantee a reduction. A fact I have learned throughout the years is poor presentation or non-effective presentation of evidence will lead to a denial of your appeal. Often times a homeowner makes the fatal mistake of using evidence that is not representative of their home. Some tips I suggest are to be certain your home is relatively of the same age as your comparables and is made of a similar construction (i.e. brick, mason, or frame).
The appeal process can be long and confusing. However, the attorneys at www.niko-law.com are here for you and are always willing to answer questions or concerns you may have along the way. Feel free to e-mail or call us at (708) 966-9388.
Niko Law LLC is an Illinois law firm. As the firm practices law in the State of Illinois, only, this website and e-newsletter focuses upon that jurisdiction, only. Please keep in mind Niko Law LLC does not guarantee results and that law can vary dramatically from state to state, county to county, and it is not reasonable to assume that law in other jurisdictions will be the same as, or even similar to, Illinois law.
For questions regarding your specific situation, please contact Niko Law LLC at 708-966-9388.
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