Cook Assessor to Adjust for COVID-19 Effects on Property Value

Cook Assessor To Adjust Assessments for COVID-19Cook County property owners will see their property values adjusted to reflect any “significant” changes in market value that can be attributed to the coronavirus pandemic, the assessor’s office said in a press release this week.

“This is an unprecedented crisis and we’re taking necessary steps to address it,” Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi said in the release. “In view of the state and federal governments’ declaration of Illinois and Cook County as major disaster areas, and the pandemic’s toll on markets and property values, we are adjusting assessments to reflect this reality.”

Adjustments will be considered in all townships, including those that have already been reassessed and those in the north suburbs and Chicago that are not scheduled for reassessment this year, according to the release.

Property owners in River Forest, Riverside, Oak Park, and Palos townships and others who have already received assessment notices will receive updated assessments by mail reflecting any adjustments related to COVID-19. Property owners in townships that have not yet received reassessment notices will receive information about any COVID-related adjustments in their notices.

Assessor: Global Health Crisis Likely to Affect Property Values

The release does not provide any information about how the adjustment will be calculated, but suggests that falling property values are all but certain.

“We’re already seeing the effects of this global health crisis on hiring, income and construction – all of which dovetail with real estate values,” Kaegi said.

While the prospect of an adjustment is welcome news in a difficult time, it’s important to point out that an overall adjustment does not guarantee that your assessment is fair. A blanket adjustment will likely not take individual factors into account.  The only way to be sure that your assessment will not leave you paying more than you should is to appeal.

Falling Markets No Guarantee of Falling Tax Rates

A report by Illinois Policy shows that when home values fell during the Great Recession, statewide property tax rates – the tax bill as a percentage of home value – actually rose by 7.8% in the next reassessment cycle.  The local governments and associated taxing agencies that depend on property tax revenues often find it difficult to cut costs no matter what the economic conditions. Therefore, blanket downward assessment reductions will likely lead to increasing tax rates and provide no net tax benefit.

Appealing your assessment is one of the most important things you can do to protect the value of your most important investment, especially in difficult economic times.

We can help, with a free, no-obligation analysis of your tax bill that will let you know how much you may be able to reduce your assessment on appeal.

Give us a call or click on the link below to learn more.

Get Your Free Property Tax Reduction Estimate

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