Understanding the Factors That Determine the Size of Your Property Tax Bill
When you open your property tax bill, it’s easy to see if you’re going to be paying more, but the reasons why can be harder to understand.
Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough offers a brief explanation in a recent release accompanying the 2019 tax rates. The release includes the “four most impactful factors” that determine whether an individual property tax bill goes up or down. The bad news is, they’re going up in a lot of cases. But every tax bill is a collection of individual components.
Here are the four factors that determine the size of your tax bill, followed by some explanation around what you can (and can’t) do about them:
5 Ways to Avoid Overpaying Your Property Taxes
In her recent article, Are You Paying Too Much Property Tax?, Vera Gibbons of Zillow identifies five ways to help ensure you’re not paying more in property taxes than you should:
- Correct Basic Errors: verify that there are no mistakes on your property card, including dimensions, acreage, value, bedrooms, bathrooms, garage size, and other key amenities like a fireplace or swimming pool; if you find any errors, you may qualify for a reduction in your property taxes
- Comps: compare your home’s property information with your neighbors that have similar homes in terms of age, size, style, proximity, and condition; if you’re assessed higher to a comparable property, you can make an argument for a property tax reduction
- Unique Conditions: if there is anything about your property or neighborhood making it somewhat undesirable, e.g. proximity to busy streets, power lines or commercial operations like a factory, you may qualify for a property tax reduction
- Improvements: if your property tax bill includes structural enhancements that were never made, than you have a good case for a reduction in your property taxes
- Exemptions: property tax reductions are often available for seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, historic buildings, and homes with certain energy efficient enhancements
Read the whole article here
Property Tax Appeal Service
If you think you may qualify for a property tax reduction on your property taxes for your home or business because of anything listed above or for any other reason, contact us for a free estimate on the maximum deduction we project for you.
We’ve helped more than 10,000 clients in Cook County and throughout the Chicagoland area save $1,000 or more on their property taxes since 1999.
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Cook County Home & Land Assessments Increasing 17-25%+
So far, three Cook County townships have been opened for property tax appeals that have been reassessed based on Cook County’s triennial assessment schedule: Evanston, New Trier and Barrington.
The median assessed values on homes (not on land – more on that later) has increased 17-25% in these three townships. That being the median, we’ve represented many homeowners from these townships that have seen 40% increases in assessed home values.
Cook County Commissioner Property Tax Advice: Appeal Twice, Every Year
Larry Suffredin is the Cook County Board Commissioner for 11 North Shore suburbs and the 49th & 50th Wards of Chicago who’s made a name for himself in changing county government and being a strong advocate for homeowners.
As reported by the Chicago Tribune’s Bob Seidenberg in his article Cook County officials hold property tax seminar in Evanston, Suffredin said the following last week: “My attitude has been, in the 13 years I’ve been county commissioner, that everyone, everyone needs to appeal, twice a year.”
Commercial Property Managers: The Property Tax Appeal Success Formula
Few issues are as complex as Chicago property taxes for commercial property owners, with factors like perceived market value, income, and several other factors determining your tax bill. Given the fiscal crises in Illinois, Chicago and other municipalities, the likelihood of future commercial property tax hikes is strong.
The Good News: there is an easy, no-risk way for commercial property managers like you to save their owner clients thousands per year on their property taxes.
What Happens after Receiving a Property Tax Reduction?
Congratulations: you’ve received a property tax reduction of $500 to $5,000… now what?
Mortgage Payment Impact & Government Regulations
The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) limits the amount of money a lender may require a borrower to hold in escrow for payment of taxes, insurance, etc. The RESPA statute and regulations provide that lenders are capped in the amount of cushion they can require a borrower to maintain in their escrow account in the amount of one-sixth (1/6) of the total amount of items paid out of the account, or approximately two months of escrow payments.
Therefore, if you receive a reduction in the assessed value of your property, your mortgage servicer should reduce the amount of your monthly mortgage payment accordingly.
Deadline Nearing for Riverside & River Forest Homeowner Property Tax Reductions
The window to appeal your property taxes with the Cook County Assessor is now open for homeowners in Riverside and River Forest. Riverside homeowners have until March 7 to appeal while River Forest homeowners have until March 8.
What Homeowners Like You Saved in 2018
Below is a small sampling of how much we helped save Riverside and River Forest homeowners in 2018 – savings that range from $2,461 to $7,252 over two years:
Fixed Income Property Tax Reductions
If you’re living on a fixed income, you’re probably even more concerned about Rahm Emanuel’s $588 million property tax hike than the average homeowner – and rightfully so, but you don’t have to be.
Just as property taxes are not a fixed cost, they can actually be reduced – possibly by as much or more than they are expected to increase for you.
Did you get that?
Buying a Home? Avoid Property Tax Gotchas…
When buying a home, many scrutinize home prices, assessed value, interest rates, and even PMI when determining what to pay and what they can afford.
However, many neglect one of the most important financial aspects of home buying or, should we say, home paying: accurately estimating your property tax obligation.
Continued Push for Bill to Require Commercial Income Data
Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi has not given up on efforts to pass legislation requiring some commercial property owners to submit information about building income to the assessor’s office, which he has called “the first, best step in legislative tax reform.”
The so-called Data Modernization Bill passed the Illinois Senate earlier this year, but was shelved by a House committee amid opposition from groups that include the Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, among others. Opponents say the bill would impose burdensome reporting requirements and includes information that is confidential.