How to Reduce your Property Taxes with an Accurate Real Estate Appraisal
With property taxes continuing to rise in Chicago and throughout Cook County, more homeowners are challenging their property taxes. When your property taxes are inaccurate, a solid appraisal can be an imperative part of your tax appeal.
In Illinois, real estate taxes are based upon the fair market value as of a certain date. Properties in Cook County are reassessed every three years, and property taxes are based on these assessments.
By appealing your assessment, you may be able to significantly reduce your property tax bill. Once assessment notices are mailed, by township, a property owner has 30 days to file an appeal. By filing an appeal, you may be able to reduce your property taxes and save money if your property taxes are not in line with today’s market.
Reasons for Disputing your Property Taxes
Reasons for disputing your property taxes will vary. Perhaps you suspect that the assessed value of your property exceeds the current market value, causing you to pay more in your property taxes. Or, maybe you discovered a neighbor, who lives in an identical home down the street, is paying less in property taxes than you are.
You can search tax records for any property in cook county here. You may find that the record of your property may have inaccurate information such as:
The size, improvements, bedroom count, etc. You can search your property’s characteristics here.
These are many reasons for wanting to dispute your property taxes. The first step when considering appealing your property taxes is to understand the process. Here you will find a very useful resource for Cook County property tax information
Your second step in the appeal process is to be aware of the appeal and closing deadlines.
Click here to access the schedule for Cook County appeals.
Property Tax Appeal Tips
One way to lower your property taxes is to prove that your home is worth less than it’s assessed value. An appraiser can give you an accurate depiction of what your home is worth to ensure that your property taxes are fair.
An appraiser will consider these factors to determine the fair market value of your home:
- Comparable homes within the same market
- The physical condition and characteristics of the home (number of bathrooms, beds, and square feet)
- Assess the improvements made to the home, and research the neighborhood.
A certified local appraiser will understand the particulars of each community. Thus, he or she can provide substantial evidence related to the property’s assessment. Chicago Appraisals has a local appraiser that will provide you with a detailed report that you can then submit to the local tax assessor. A list of all the assessors in Cook County can be found here.
The local tax assessor will compare the appraiser’s findings to conclude justification for a property tax appeal. If the review is unsuccessful, you can usually appeal the decision to an independent board, with or without the help of a lawyer. If you are unsuccessful at Assessor’s office, owners can appeal once more to the Board of Review, which follows another schedule. Here is the 2016 schedule as reference.
If you would like to hire an attorney to represent you in a property tax appeal, we have found this resource to be very useful to find local tax appeal attorneys.
Contact Chicago Appraisals For Help With Your Tax Appeal
When appealing your property taxes, it’s important to hire an appraiser who knows the local assessment process. An experienced appraiser will provide you with a well-documented report that will increase the odds of success when appealing your property taxes in Cook County.
At Chicago Appraisals, we can help you appeal your property taxes with an accurate real estate appraisal.
Contact us today to learn more about our appraisal services.
The Cook County Residential Appeal Form can be found here.
All of the Cook County Assessor Forms can be found here.
The Cook County Assessor’s Office has a very informative website with access to forms, resources and updated information. The website is- http://www.cookcountyassessor.com/
The law involving property tax appeal is complicated and the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. This is not legal advice. Please contact a real estate attorney to provide legal advice. As with any legal matter, we highly recommend consulting with an attorney.