Monthly Archives: October 2015

Kensington Gives Back with a Side of Inspiration

Inspiration Cafe Kitchen

At Kensington Research & Recovery, our business is helping clients reclaim money that is rightfully due them. From receiving government refunds to appealing property taxes, we take great pride in helping our clients. At the end of the day, helping to make someone’s life better is what we find so personally gratifying.

That feeling doesn’t stop at the office door. We believe in doing the right thing and seek out opportunities to give back to our community.
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3 Common Property Tax Appeal Misconceptions

Common Property Tax Appeal Misconceptions

Since we were founded in 1999, we’ve heard many concerns and misconceptions about appealing your property taxes. Let’s set the record straight:

“Why Bother?”

While many people feel it’s a waste of time to appeal their taxes because they don’t understand the system, or they think it won’t have an impact, over 65% of Cook County homeowners that appeal their property taxes see a property tax reduction at the Board of Reviewas reported by Chicago Lawyer. You can also appeal with the County Assessor earlier in the year.
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Are You Leaving Money on the Table with Your Property Tax Appeal?

Cook County & Chicago Property Tax Appeal

Have you appealed your property taxes online?

While the convenience is appealing (no pun intended), you could be leaving money on the table: hundreds and possibly thousands in property tax savings. Why?

You Need to Make a Case

If you want your home to be considered for a property tax appeal, it doesn’t take much to file. However, if you want to make a strong appeal argument then you need to provide compelling evidence to support your appeal.
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Chicago’s Proposed Property Tax Exemption Increase

Chicago Property Tax Homeowner ExemptionWhile there’s been a lot of news on the impact Rahm Emanuel’s $541-$588 million property tax increase will have on Chicago homeowners, many do not yet realize that it also includes a tax cut for homes valued below $250,000.

Are You Above or Below the Property Tax Exemption Threshold?

This affects approximately 290,000 Chicago homeowners. See the table below to see the increase or decrease that affects you.

Just remember that this relates to the amount the Cook County Assessor’s office says your home is worth, which may or may not be in tune with actual home prices on the market. This could unfairly place your home value above the threshold or in a higher category below the threshold so you miss out on potentially larger savings. Our free property tax reduction estimate can help you understand where you are and if there’s a case to lower your home’s assessed value so you can enjoy a larger reduction or lower increase.

Home Value 2015 Taxes 2016 Taxes
(2015 + $318M)
2017 Taxes
(2015 + $428M)
2018 Taxes
(2015 + $481M)
2019 Taxes
(2015 + $544M)
$100K $1,390 ($340) ($318) ($307) ($294)
$150K $2,325 ($273) ($228) ($206) ($180)
$200K $3,260 ($206) ($138) ($105) ($65)
$250K $4,195 ($140) ($48) ($4) $49
$300K $5,130 ($73) $42 $97 $163
$400K $7,000 $61 $221 $299 $392
$500K $8,870 $195 $401 $501 $620

What If You’re Above $250,000 But Live on a Fixed Income?

If your home is valued above $250,000, your taxes will increase – significantly. This increase could drive people out of their homes. The best protection against this scenario is to appeal your property taxes and it all starts with a free property tax appeal estimate.

It Could Be Worse…

According to Chicago Real Estate Daily, mansions owned by Richard Parrillo and JB Pritzker worth $12-$16 million each and already are taxed around $230,000 per year could see increases of $29,000-$39,000 per year.

Contact us to see if you qualify for this potentially new Chicago property tax exemption

How to Lessen the Impact of Chicago’s $588 Million Property Tax Hike

Chicago Property Tax IncreaseWith the looming Chicago property tax hike, you have three choices:

  • Accept the property tax hike and pay approximately $340-$550 more per year (the lowest projected increase)
  • Sell your property
  • Appeal your property tax assessment for your Chicago home and potentially save thousands

How Much of $588 Million Do You Want to Pay?

This week, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a $588 million property tax hike to be implemented over four years, starting in 2016. This includes a 12% increase on residential properties on homes valued at $250,000 or more. This equates to a $340 to $550 annual increase. The estimated increases go up the more your home is worth.

Businesses Will Pay More, Or Will They?

Businesses will potentially pay an even higher rate but, as we covered in this blog post, are well-represented, so a significant chunk of their would-be tax burden is likely to shift to homeowners that don’t appeal their property taxes.

Ensure Your Assessment is Fair Amidst the Increase

Other than selling your property, your only property tax hike remedy is to appeal your assessment. Property taxes are not a fixed cost. While a portion of the overall Cook County property tax appeals are denied every year, Kensington has achieved a 90%+ success rate. Contact us and we can estimate your property tax reduction (for free). If we determine that you’re not in line for a significant reduction, we will not appeal. However, we are typically able to help save our Cook County homeowner clients thousands of dollars.

What have you got to lose, other than a lot of money by not appealing?

Get your free property tax reduction estimate today