Why It’s Important to File a Property Tax Appeal

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From left, Brian Bernardoni, C.A.R. Senior Director of Government Affairs, Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios, CommercialForum Vice-Chair Molly Phelan of Kearney & Phelan, CommercialForum Chair Robert Thomas of Jameson Commercial and Patrick Turner of Maurides & Foley L.L.C. at the Feb. 10 networking breakfast.

As soon as you receive your property tax assessment, appeal it. That was the message Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios delivered to attendees at the CommercialForum Networking Breakfast on Tuesday, Feb. 10. Berrios said Chicago’s property tax assessments are scheduled to begin arriving in mailboxes this year, starting in Rogers Park Township on Feb. 18. Assessments in Cook County come once every three years, on a rotating basis determined by where you live in the county. Residents in the City of Chicago are facing reassessment in 2015, so owners should advantage of the opportunity. From the time owners receive an assessment, they have just 30 days to file an appeal. In the last assessment in 2012, 397,000 parcels appealed – the highest in 12 years. Of those appeals, approximately 60 percent were reduced. Appealing your assessment benefits property owners. Here’s how: • Helps bring property values in line with the local market. • It’s better to appeal now. Your tax assessment builds on previous years so your base the next time will be higher. • Your efforts may result in a lower assessment for your property. It’s important to note that a lower assessment may not necessarily result in lower taxes. If successful, an appeal will help make sure your property value is in line with similar properties in your neighborhood. In addition, a lower assessment can help better position the property for sale, especially when buyers look at property taxes in their decision making process.