Paying too much property tax by Dan Moyle/Flickr

How to appeal your Cook County property tax? – 2016 version

Please support me by sharing!

Did your home’s assessed market value jump by 20% like mine did?

Don’t be too happy about it. It doesn’t mean your house can sell for 20% more, it just means that you’ll probably need to pay 20% more in property tax.

What are you waiting for? Gotta appeal that tax, now!

If you live in the Northfield Township (Glenview, Northbrook, Northfield, a little bit of Glencoe, Wilmette, Des Plaines and Prospect Heights), you must have received your property assessment letter in the mail.

Cook County Property Assessment
Cook County Property Assessment

 

Did your home’s assessed market value jump by 20% like mine did?

Don’t be too happy about it. It doesn’t mean your house can sell for 20% more, it just means that you’ll probably need to pay 20% more in property tax.

What are you waiting for? Gotta appeal that tax, now!

You have one month to do so.

Northfield Township Property Tax Appeal Deadline
Northfield Township Property Tax Appeal Deadline

Here’s how:

Approach #1: Find an attorney that specializes in property tax appeal. Let them handle your property. Done. But it’ll cost you roughly 1/3 of the money that they save for you.

Approach #2: Do It Yourself!

Go to the Assessor’s website, and file an appeal online:

http://www.cookcountyassessor.com/Appeals/Appeal-Search.aspx

Cook County Assessor Website File an Appeal
Cook County Assessor Website File an Appeal

Enter your PIN, and you’ll see the appeal pages. You can file it online, or mail a physical package of documents.

The most commonly used “Reason for appeal” is “Lack of Uniformity”, meaning your house is very similar to your neighbor’s house, but his assessed value is much lower than yours, and you really should be “uniform”. Then you got a case.

In other cases, if there’s error in your property information, like bedroom count, no garage, etc. that can be ground for appeal also. And the county is supposed to refund you the overpayment caused by the error.

To make your case stronger, search for your neighborhood properties that are similar to yours but with lower assessed value. Also put in pictures and good argument in your package.

Here’s a trick to see your neighbor’s assessed value. Go to the Assessor’s website again,

http://www.cookcountyassessor.com/Search/Property-Search.aspx

Go to Search –>  Property –> PIN Range Search

Cook County Assessor Website do a generic PIN search
Cook County Assessor Website do a generic PIN search

Type in the first 8 digits of your PIN, and you’ll get a list of your immediate neighbor’s assessed value. You can click into each one and see their property description. Choose the ones that are closest to yours in most accounts (property class, size, age, room counts, etc.) but with lower value.

TIME IS MONEY! The deadline for Northfield Township residents to file an appeal is August 29, 2016. Keep that in mind.

If you missed it, there are still chances (note the plural form!).

You can file an appeal with the Cook County Board of Review.

http://www.cookcountyboardofreview.com/

The Assessor is accepting appeal, but note the Board of Review has not opened their window for appeal yet. It’ll open after the Assessor is done.

Right now, New Trier Township and Evanston Township are open to appeals. The window closes on Aug. 30, 2016.

I could be wrong, but I think every year, there’s a window open for different townships, even though we in Cook County are assessed on a triennial basis. So if you are dead set on it, you can do it EVERY YEAR.

(Update: Yes, every year it opens a narrow window for each township)

If you are still not happy about the appeal result, here are two ultimate channels:

Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board

http://www.ptab.illinois.gov/

And Cook County Circuit Court, yes, they take property tax cases, too.

http://www.cookcountycourt.org/ABOUTTHECOURT/CountyDepartment/CountyDivision/RealEstateTaxProceedings.aspx

Hope you can save some money!

Paying too much property tax by Dan Moyle/Flickr

Please support me by sharing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *