Defying Logic, Real Estate Taxes are on the Rise – Fight Back and File a Tax Appeal!

During 2010, the Cook County Assessor will reassess all property located in the Chicago Northern suburbs.  Assessment notices will be mailed one township at a time beginning in June and continuing through late fall.  Unless contested, the proposed assessments will determine a property owners’ tax obligation for the next three years.

It is well known that commercial property values have fallen substantially; however, the Cook County Assessor continues to increase assessments of commercial properties.  This defies logic and creates significant opportunities for successful assessment appeals.

Residential property values have also fallen.  The Cook County Assessor has recognized this fact and has decreased assessments, but only modestly.  We find many residential properties remain significantly over-assessed.  Again, opportunity for successful assessment appeals.

In addition, numerous lenders are contesting assessments of their REO inventories.  Real estate taxes are ultimately the responsibility of the foreclosing lender, so there should be a significant incentive for lenders to contest assessments.  Many lender-owned properties are vacant.  And, many lenders have current appraisals documenting the reduced property values.  These facts assist us greatly in securing substantial assessment reductions.

You may know that the Cook County Board reduced assessment ratios of all classes of property in Cook County effective January 1, 2009.  Although assessment ratios of commercial property were lowered from 38% to 25%, the Assessor did not lower their assessments.  This resulted in large numbers of owners making commercial tax appeals to the Cook County Board of Review and commensurate assessment reductions.  Those owners who failed to take action will likely see large increases in their tax bills this fall and will be paying more than their fair share.

Appeal filing deadlines can be found the websites of the Cook County Assessor (www.cookcountyassessor.com) and the Cook County Board of Review (www.cookcountyboardofreview.com).  The Cook County Treasurer’s website (www.cookcountytreasurer.com) is also useful for checking on the status of tax payments, etc.

Our firm continues to handle commercial real estate tax assessment matters on a contingent fee basis.  We welcome the opportunity to work with you.  As a team, we will work with you to achieve the best possible results.

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