Commercial Assessments Issue Summary


updated 2/25/2020

In Cook County, commercial properties are assessed at 25 percent of the property’s fair market value, whereas residential properties are assessed at 10 percent of the property’s fair market value. This discrepancy is unique to Cook County. Every other jurisdiction in Illinois taxes commercial and residential at the same rate: 33.33 percent.

What does this mean for the real estate industry?

The discrepancy of commercial vs. residential assessment rates put additional pressures on the Cook County Assessor’s office to accurately capture commercial fair market values to generate revenues for the various taxing bodies within the county. There is a triennial property tax assessment schedule where the assessor’s office will reassess fair market values for all properties within a specific section of the County. There are three sections of Cook County that are assessed every three years:

  • City Tri (City of Chicago): 2021, 2024, 2027
  • North Tri (Cook County north of North Ave., not in the City of Chicago): 2019, 2022, 2025
  • South Tri (Cook County south of North Ave., not in the City of Chicago): 2020, 2023, 2026

Our Stance

Accurate commercial property tax assessments should be the norm and standard for assessor offices. However, information collected from individual owners should not be an additional administrative requirement for owners because property assessments should be based on property characteristics and not on income streams which may not be understood or properly analyzed by the assessor. Therefore, REALTORS® oppose the additional reporting requirements regarding the income and expense data of individual properties.

Legislative Outlook

In 2019, legislation (S.B. 1379) was introduced that would allow the Cook County Assessor’s office to collect income and expense data from income-producing properties on an annual basis.

In 2020, the legislation has been reactivated and conversations continue regarding the data collection for the Cook County Assessor’s office.