Property value assessments are guaranteed to deliver homeowners one thing - a sticker shock. Assessment value notice is one piece of mail no homeowner looks forward to! But, the good thing is - you are not compelled to accept the value your county said your property is worth. You can appeal that value and bring it lower!
Truth be told - you cannot appeal your property taxes! You can appeal your property value assessment though! Property taxes are a percentage of your assessed value. Hence, every homeowner must appeal their property value which will in turn lower their property tax.
The Cook County Assessor is tasked with determining the Fair Market Value of each property in the county at least once in three years. Cook county, like other assessors across the country, use Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal Systems to value property. Though assessors may be required to inspect each property and assess its value, it is practically impossible to follow. Mass appraisal systems arrive at "estimated values" to classes of properties based on several inputs including recent sales in the neighborhood. However, the flip side of such systems is that individual properties may get inaccurately assessed. Hence, it is imperative on the homeowner to ensure they appeal their value and arrive at a true reflection of the market value of their house.
If you believe that the assessed value of your property is too high compared to its market value, appealing the assessment can help correct this discrepancy and potentially lower your property taxes. In general, Cook County recommends that if the estimated value is more than 10% of what you think your property is worth, then you have a better chance of reduction when you appeal.
For the sake of property assessments, Cook county is divided into 3 regions:
Each of these regions is assessed once every three years. Hence, you reassessment will depend on the township you are in. Be sure to check the Cook county assessment calendar, for appeal deadline.
Once you receive your Assessment Notice, generally you have 30 days to appeal. The last date to appeal for your township is also printed on your assessment notice. In case you miss the appeal deadline, you can appeal again the next year, when your township is open for appeals. But the cost of missing your appeal deadline is that you end up paying higher taxes for that year!
You appeal either to the Cook County Assessor's Office(CCAO) first and then to the Cook County Board of Review(BoR) or directly to the Board of Review. If you appeal to the CCAO first and your appeal is rejected, you have 30 days to appeal to the BoR. If your appeal is not successful at the BoR too, you can then appeal to the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board(PTAB).
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