Why You Should Appeal Your Property Taxes

The reality is that less than 20% of homeowners appeal their property taxes. They may feel that their bill shows an appropriate (or even lower) fair market value for their home’s worth. “Maybe we’re already getting a great deal!”

Others feel that the information on their bill is incorrectly stated, and appealing will trigger someone to come out and take a look. For example, you have a finished basement but the tax bill indicates unfinished. Unfortunately this logic does not hold true. Basements do not affect your property tax bill in most counties as they are not included in your square footage. Whether finished or unfinished, it doesn’t matter.

The Cook County’s Assessor’s Office is responsible for valuing the more than 1.8 million parcels in Cook County. Each township is automatically reassessed once every three years. In between this time, your property taxes will likely go up as they always do!

When you appeal, you’re asking the county to reassess based on some type of argument as to why yours are too high. The most common is to use a group of comparable properties as a benchmark. If these all have lower assessments, then yours should be lower too!

The county considers this appeal, and they may or may not agree and lower your assessed value. If they agree, great! If they don’t, you can appeal to the Board of Review. RTA handles both as applicable.

It is highly recommended by us (and by the Assessor’s office) that you appeal every year, whether you were reassessed automatically or not, as they truly do want to get the assessed values right. Remember, the Assessor’s office’s job is to get assessed values of every property fairly assigned. They do not assign the property tax multiplier, nor do they collect the taxes. Those are done by other offices. Their purpose is to make the assessed value for each property in Cook County fair and accurate.

Assessed values have gotten out of whack over many years, and some residents are paying far more property taxes than they should, while others may be paying far less. By appealing each year, you’re asking the Cook County Assessor’s Office to take a look at your property’s assessed value and lower it based upon the information that our Appeal Service provides as support.

Your appeal can only result in a reduction in your assessed value, or no change. Appeals WILL NEVER result in any increase to your property’s assessed value.