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Proviso Probe

Friday, October 31, 2008

you should appeal your property tax assessment

Last night I attended a meeting with Proviso Township Assessor Michael Corrigan and a representative of Larry R. Rogers, Jr., one of the three members of the Cook County Board of Review. The meeting was at the Forest Park Public Library and organized by Citizens United in Forest Park.

First the news you can use: Rogers is pushing to have a policy of automatically reducing property assessments to the 2006 level. If this policy is adopted you will lose out if you do not appeal your assessment to the Board of Review.

Each property in Cook County gets assessed a value. This value is based on the value of the property.

From the assessed value, the “equalized assessed value” (EAV) is calculated. The EAV takes into account the homeowner exemption, senior exemption, senior freeze and other special programs that are connected to the specific owner.

The EAV is then used to determine how much of the bill for local government the owner is responsible for. The cost of the taxing body (high school district, elementary school district, village, county, park district, library, etc.) is spread around based on the EAV. If the taxing body is entitled to one million dollars in taxes and you property is 1/100,000th of the EAV for the area covered, you owe $100 to that taxing body.

Reducing one's assessment indirectly reduces one's EAV. However, for middle-class, single-family homeowners there are already programs to limit the year-to-year increase of the EAV. So, reducing the assessment to the 2006 levels isn't quite as good a deal as it might be, but it will probably reduce your tax bill at least somewhat.

And remember since the taxing bodies are going to get their money, you are at a disadvantage if you don't apply for the reduction and your neighbors do.

And to reiterate, the automatic reduction has not been approved as policy, but Rogers is pushing for it. And it may be worth your time and effort to appeal your assessment to the board of review whether the automatic reduction is made policy or not.

Other news you can use: Proviso property owners have until November 24th to appeal assessments to the Cook County Assessor. There are multiple stages to the property tax assessment appeals process. First the Cook County Assessor sets a value on the property. The first level of appeal is to the Cook County Assessor. The next level of appeal is to the Board of Review. The final level of appeal is to the Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB).

Recommendation: If you are appealing because your property is assessed more than comparable properties I recommend you file an appeal with the Cook County Assessor. After the Cook County Assessor grants and denies appeals for Proviso Township I recommend you do a new search for comparable properties. If the Cook County Assessor reduces the assessment on properties similar to your property you want that data include in your appeal to the Board of Review. You should submit a further appeal to the Board of Review. They are elected officials and they like to make people happy by granting at least small symbolic reductions.

If you are merely hoping for the automatic reduction Rogers is advocating, don't bother with filing an appeal with the Cook County Assessor.

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  • The Chicago Bar Association has a list of qualified attorneys who help with property tax appeals. Visit www.chicagobar.org or call the Association's Lawyer Referral Service at 312-554-2071.

    The assessing officials generally compare your home's assessed value per square foot (building assessment divided by the square foot of the home) of the subject home and those similar homes in the area. Visit cookcountyassessor.com and look up your property by PIN (property index number from taxbill) or by address.

    At least if you file an appeal with evidence of an overvaluation, you may have some success persuading the officials at the Assessor or Board of Review to grant a reduction.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:12 AM, November 03, 2008  

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