- Published: 19 December 2016
If you feel your property has been over-assessed, you can file an appeal with the Cook County Assessor’s Office and the Board of Review.
Filing with the Assessor’s Office is the first step in the process; the Board of Review is the second step. It is a free service to help you lower your property taxes. The Board of Review does not have the power to raise your property value.
Individuals can represent themselves when appealing the property tax assessment for their home. Commercial property owners need legal representation to appeal.
Properties are reassessed every three years. The Assessor’s Office has a strict 30 day window for each township to appeal. You can appeal your property assessment with the Board of Review at any time, but it is recommended to file an appeal the same year the property is assessed to maximize savings. You can pre-file your appeal with the Board of Review in August of the year your neighborhood is being assessed.
A few grounds for appealing your property assessment include:
- The property was purchased within three years prior to the appeal year for less than the assessor’s value of the property;
- Errors in the description of the property, such as incorrect square footage;
- Damage from fire, flooding or other casualty;
- Similar nearby properties are assessed at lower values;
Appealing your property assessment is as simple as filling out this complaint form and filing it through the Board of Review’s website. To complete the form you will need your property index number, which can be found on the second installment of your property tax bill.
Submitting evidence, such as pictures of property damage or paperwork from the recent purchase of the property is voluntary. You can submit comparable properties with lower assessment rates as evidence, but the Board of Review office can also help you find similar properties.
Applying for an exemption is an easy way to reduce your property tax bill. Exemptions such as those available for senior citizens or veterans are handled through the Assessor’s Office.
A common misconception when appealing property taxes is that requesting a hearing will reduce your property taxes. Owners have a right to a hearing, but it is optional and does not guarantee a reduction.
For more information, visit the Board of Review’s website or call Commissioner Michael Cabonargi’s office at 312-603-5560.