Chicago Homeowners Face Additional $250 Million Property Tax Increase
Besides Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s $588 million property tax increase, approved by the Chicago City Council last fall for police and fire department pensions and school construction, Chicago homeowners will face an additional $250 million tax levy to pay for teacher pensions. This amount is $80 million more than Emanuel originally proposed for teacher pensions over a year ago.
Why Is This Happening?
As the Chicago Sun-Times reported, the hike is the result of a compromise deal between the Illinois Legislature and the City of Chicago, which didn’t receive as much money as it had hoped for from the State. A top mayoral aide quoted anonymously in the article said, “We didn’t get quite as much as we wanted from Springfield. The State is stepping up. They wanted to see the city step up.” As a result, Chicago homeowners will be paying up.
And that’s not all: the Chicago City Council will not have to approve this increase. “Given the historic underfunding by the state, we felt that going to the City Council wasn’t needed—that a simple authorization from the Board of Education was sufficient,” said the mayoral aide.
What Can You Do about It?
Other than voting for new leadership in upcoming elections or moving out of state, you have a couple avenues of recourse if you feel your taxes already are too high. First, find out if you are eligible for any exemptions, available to those who meet the following qualifications: owner-occupied primary residences, senior citizens aged 65 and older, longtime occupants of a property, disabled individuals, and disabled or returning veterans.
Second, you can appeal your property taxes. Any savings achieved as part of a property tax appeal are in addition to these exemptions. Then the question becomes, should you appeal your property taxes yourself, use the family lawyer or use a third-party service?
Property Tax Appeal Service Options
If you’re considering using a lawyer, you’ll want to know a few things:
- How many property tax appeals have they filed (and do they outsource it) and what is their success rate?
- How much have they saved for comparable homes to yours?
- Do they appeal both at the Cook County Assessor and the Board of Review?
The Kensington Appeal
During the past 15+ years, we’ve helped appeal the property taxes for over 10,000 homeowners and commercial clients in Cook County saving them millions of dollars by reducing inequitable over-assessments. Our success rate exceeds 90%.
Don’t pay more than your fair share in property taxes and act fast as the window to appeal your property taxes with the Cook County Assessor is closing rapidly…