Property tax appeal tips

July 20, 2018
Every year, property owners get two chances to appeal the assessed value used to calculate their property taxes: first before the Cook County Assessor, and then to the Cook County Board of Review. If you want to go all out to lower your taxes, you should appeal both times. If you only do one, the Board of the Review is the one, because they are usually more accommodating to the homeowner. So, our office always holds a meeting with the Board of Review when they open up.

It does not hurt to file an appeal with the Assessor's office, and we recommend you so online HERE

The Assessor is taking appeals right now. THE DEADLINE TO FILE AN APPEAL WITH THE ASSESSOR IS 8/16/18. Where it asks you for the reason for your appeal, you should at the least check Lack of Uniformity (which means that similar houses are assessed lower than yours), and Overvaluation. You can also check Property Description Error if the way your house is described on is inaccurate (for example, if they overstate the square footage of your house), or Property Damage, if that applies.

The online appeal gives you a chance for you to enter comparable PINs for them to consider. You want to give them similar houses in the same neighborhood which the Assessor has assessed lower (you can search properties by address or range of address at YOU WANT TO FIND SIMILAR/NEARBY PROPERTIES WHICH HAVE LOWER ASSESSED VALUES, NOT NECESSARILY LOWER TAX BILLS. If you do not wish to invest the time to find comparable properties, just leave that window blank, and the Assessor will randomly select comparables for you.
If you have a recent appraisal, or list of recent home sales which are lower than the Assessor’s estimate of your home value, you should send that in. Keep in mind that only closed sales count (not listing prices or pending sales). Send that in by 8/24/18, and attach THIS FORM
Be sure to take advantage of your opportunity to appeal again to the Board of Review, on If you do go through the trouble of researching and putting together supporting documentation, you can use all of the same material when you appeal to the Board of Review. You can pre-file with the Board of Review right now HERE

We don't know yet when Jefferson Township (where we live) will open at the Board of Review, but usually it is around December or January. When that happens, our office will certainly hold a public meeting around it. But, we definitely encourage you to pre-file right now at the link above.

The appeals currently being taken by the Assessor, and by the Board of Review in a couple months, are for the 2018 property tax year, which you will pay in 2019. If you are successful, it will help keep your second installment down next summer.