Mark your calendars, because March 3, 2015 is just around the corner. What is significant about this date? It is the day that paperwork is due to appeal your property tax bill for your Chicago home. You probably received your 2014 property tax bill recently. After looking at the bill, most homeowners are frustrated and upset at the amount of property tax levied. Now is the perfect time for you to appeal your 2014 property tax bill.
If you are in Cook County and you do not know when the appeal deadline is, go to the Cook County Assessor’s website to find a list of deadlines to appeal your property taxes for 2015. The list is broken down by township, which can be found on your bill in the right hand corner.
The first thing you will need to understand is the property bill itself. This bill is for your first installment of 2014. However, the amount of this first installment is determined by taking 55% of the tax paid in 2013. How is that actual amount calculated? Every three years the county determines the assessed value of each property in Cook County. Once the home value is determined, it is then multiplied by your particular city’s tax rate i.e. Chicago’s City tax rate. That final number is your property tax.
What is important to understand is that you are not appealing the property taxes, but actually appealing the assessed value of your home. There are five levels of the appeal process that you can pursue. If you are turned down by the first level, you can move on to the next appeal option. The five levels to appeal your property taxes are:
- File an appeal at the Cook County Assessor’s Office
- Ask for a re-review
- File an appeal with the Cook County Board of Review
- Appeal to the Cook County Circuit Court
- Appeal to the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board
You can also hire an attorney to help you appeal your taxes, there are a lot of attorneys that solicit this kind of business. For 40-50% of your tax reduction, the attorney will help you through the process. Or you can appeal your tax bill yourself. If you choose to do it yourself, just follow the simple instructions on the property tax appeal form, and it will be an easy process. When making your appeal, the county is looking for you to present your reasoning in a concise and thoughtful way.
- Your home is not equal with the assessed value of other homes in your area.
- Your assessed value is not equal to your home’s market value based on what you paid or it is not equal to similar homes that have recently sold in your neighborhood.
- Lastly, the county made a mistake with the type of house/property that you own.
A Chicago homeowner can file their property tax appeal online or by downloading the forms and mailing them in. Remember, all you can do is try to appeal your property taxes. Many people try and have succeeded in lowering the bill. Use the resources available to you to help make the process go smoothly and accurately.