6 Things To Know About Fighting Your Property Tax Increase

By: Robert Bramlette, Income Member

Chicago, surrounding suburbs and school districts are in difficult financial positions due to outstanding pension obligations and reductions in funding from the state of Illinois. As a result, each of these taxing bodies is increasing the amount received from property owners.


1. Three components determine Cook County real estate taxes

  •  Amount sought by local taxing bodies (municipalities, school districts, and park districts) – approved by respective council, board or trustees. You vote for these people during elections!
  • State real estate tax multiplier—determined by Illinois Department of Revenue for those Illinois local taxing districts that overlap into two or more counties. If there were no equalization among counties, then substantial inequities among taxpayers with comparable properties would result.
  • Assessed value of the property (established by the County Assessor). You can appeal this!


2. How is assessed valuation determined?

There are many components that determine the assessed valuation, but the key components include:

  • Square footage of the building
  • Square footage of the land
  • Assessed value of a residential property located in Cook County is 10% of the property value as determined by the Cook County Assessor
  • Assessed value of a commercial or industrial property is 25% of the property value as determined by the Cook County Assessor


3. When can I appeal the assessed valuation?

Every 3 years the Cook County Assessor reassesses residential, commercial and industrial property. Property owners receive a written notice of the reassessment indicating the past and new assessed valuation. Appeal forms and time periods for filing appeals can be found on www.cookcountyassessor.com.


4. What is a good theory to appeal the assessed valuation of my home?

You can appeal the Assessor’s amount under various theories, including lack of uniformity. Lack of uniformity occurs when your neighbor’s home is larger and is on a larger lot, but it has a lower assessed valuation. You can find information about your home and other homes in your neighborhood on the Assessor’s website.


5. How do I appeal the assessed valuation of my business?

Commercial and industrial properties are assessed in similar manners as residential. However, appeals for these properties generally involve an appraisal by a licensed MAI Appraiser. The appraiser will inspect the property and compare it with similar properties in the nearby area. The appraiser will analyze the property under three methods: sales comparison approach (estimate of value that compares the property with similar properties that have recently sold and have similar characteristics or indicators of value); cost approach (cost to construct the building less estimated depreciation); and the income approach (how much cash flow is generated). After making the calculations, the Appraiser provides an overall value. The appraisal is a key document that accompanies the appeal form.


6. When will I receive a reply from the assessor?

You should receive a determination within six to eight weeks or so after the deadline for filing an appeal. If you don’t like the results, then you can file an appeal with the Cook County Board of Review. Both the Assessor’s Office and the Board of Review hear appeals for the various townships during certain times of the year. Look on the Assessor’s website to determine when the Assessor and the Board of Review are accepting appeals for your township.

Chicago, Illinois 312-377-1501 | Schererville, Indiana 219-488-2590

Chicago, Illinois


Schererville, Indiana