Monthly Archives: September 2015

Property Tax Appeals: How Businesses Shift Costs to Homeowners

Chicago Lawyer September 2016In the September issue Chicago Lawyer, Roy Strom wrote a good article about Cook County property tax appeals, entitled The Assessment Squeeze: Lawyers are busier than ever appealing property assessments. The article covers how well-represented businesses shift more of the property tax cost burden on homeowners that do not appeal.

Cook County Property Tax Appeals by the Numbers

  • 38 townships in Cook County: each has its own deadline for an appeal at both the county Assessor’s Office and Board of Review
  • 1.8 million: parcels of land in Cook County
  • 403,000: total number of property tax appeal reviews made by the 125 employees at the Board of Review last year, which costs them (us) $8.5 million to do (65% are successful)
  • $94 million: estimate of legal fees paid to Cook County lawyers to appeal property taxes, much of which was spent to reduce commercial property taxes

When Businesses Pay Less, Homeowners Pay More

Despite the efforts of these lawyers, no one has been successful in reducing the total amount of property taxes that Cook County collects. It’s just that businesses and homeowners that do not appeal pay a higher share than those who appeal successfully. Additionally, since businesses are so well represented by law firms, homeowners wind up paying more than their fair share – especially those that don’t appeal. This was last estimated in 2012 when total assessed value of commercial properties was successfully reduced at the Board of Review from 42% to 37%. As a result, the homeowner share went from 51% to 57% (the “other” category was reduced from 7% to 6%).

Steep Property Tax Increases Looming

And now that Rahm Emanuel wants to raise property taxes by $450-$550 million, it’s never been more important for homeowners to appeal their property taxes at both the Cook County Assessor’s Office and Board of Review every year.

Contact us to learn more about Cook County property tax appeals and to get your free estimate

Congrats on Your New Home: Now Get Your Property Tax Reduction

Cook County New Home Buyer Property Tax ReductionCongratulations on your new home. What could be a better housewarming present than a property tax reduction that could save you thousands per year?

Whether you’re a first-time home buyer, upgrading from a condo to a single-family home or relocating to Cook County, you’re entitled to appeal your property taxes twice a year: once at the Cook County Assessor’s Office and once at the Cook County Board of Review.

We recommend that you appeal at both, every year. Like many of our clients, you may see an annual reduction from $1,500 to $15,000 per year.

How Property Tax Reductions Work

When your purchase price is lower than your assessed value, we can make a compelling case for a successful appeal. Kensington Research has access to the purchase price and assessed value for every home in Cook County, so we can quickly identify discrepancies.

However, that is not the only grounds for a successful appeal. Our proprietary property tax reduction algorithm identifies other discrepancies and unclaimed exemptions that can result in a compelling reduction.

Property Tax Reduction Timing

If you bought (or are planning to buy) a new home in Cook County during 2015, you can start off the new year right by first appealing at the Cook County Assessor’s Office in early 2016, which starts opening townships for appeal in January. Then you can also appeal at the Board of Review starting in September.

Estimate Your 2016 Property Tax Reduction Now

We can provide you with a free estimate today for how much you can expect for a property tax reduction so you can plan for next year. It just takes a few minutes by phone. Then, when the Cook County assessor opens up the property tax appeal window for your township, we’ll notify you to begin the process and there are no up-front costs to you.

We only get paid if you see a reduction, so we only appeal cases we believe we can win so we don’t waste your time or ours, and we’ve got the experience of working on over 10,000 successful property tax appeals in Cook County.

Don’t Mistake Property Taxes as a Fixed Cost

Your mortgage payment is high enough. You don’t have to pay more than your fair share of property taxes on top of that and, if you don’t appeal, there is an extremely high likelihood that you will do so.

Get your free property tax appeal reduction estimate today

Board of Review Announces 5 More Townships will open for 2015 Property Tax Appeals

The Cook County Board of Review has announced that 5 more townships will open on 9/14/15 for 2015 property tax appeals. The deadline to file a complaint is 10/13/15 for the following townships:

  • Barrington
  • New Trier
  • Lake View
  • Palatine
  • Lyons

Contact Us to Learn More