The COVID-19 pandemic is lasting longer than most people had hoped. For many families and small businesses, the financial toll is apparent and devastating. The real estate market was anticipated to take a massive hit given the volume of unemployment, under employment, pay-cuts, and delayed construction. In anticipation, the Cook County Assessor’s Office developed a response plan.
From Assessor Kaegi’s statement from May 2020: “In view of the state and federal governments’ declaration of Illinois and Cook County as major disaster areas, and the pandemic’s toll on markets and property values, we are adjusting assessments to reflect this reality.”
Only one third of Cook County is reassessed every year. At the start of 2020, only the south and southwest sections of Cook County were due to be reassessed for property tax purposes. This is the area outside of the City of Chicago but south of North Avenue. The Assessor’s Office, however, took the unprecedented move of reassessing (to an extent) the entire county to account for the potential impact of COVID-19 on the real estate market.
Impact on Residential Properties
For residential property (which includes single family homes and condominium units), the Assessor applied a median downward adjustment of approximately 10%. For example, a condominium unit originally valued at $200,000 would be readjusted to a value of about $180,000.
It’s important to note that this does not directly translate into a 10% reduction in the final amount of the property tax bill. Moreover, the impact on property taxes as a result of this adjustment will be reflected on the second installment tax bill for 2020 scheduled to be released in July of 2021.
Impact on Commercial Properties
The adjustments for commercial and industrial property were more varied. Hotels and restaurants saw significant reductions due to Covid-19; understandable given the economic impact the virus has caused these specific properties.
On the other hand, big box supermarkets and warehouses had a difficult time securing reductions. Why? Their property values have not necessarily been negatively affected by the virus.
Most commercial/industrial property were not given an adjustment absent an appeal to the Assessor’s Office. It is worth noting that, for the most part, residential properties were given reductions without the need to appeal.
Impact of Appealing Your Property Taxes
For years, Illinois has had one of the highest property tax rates in the United States. Unlike other costs associated with owning property (ex. mortgage payments, maintenance costs, utility bills), tax assessments can be appealed and reduced.
Here are two examples where Appeal.Tax was able to save our clients’ money by appealing their tax assessments:
- Appeal.Tax convinced the Assessor’s Office to lower the assessment of one of our motel clients by 24%!
- Appeal.Tax persuaded the Cook County Assessor to lower the assessment of a commercial storefront located on the southwest side of Chicago by 19%! Our client had tremendous difficulty finding a tenant for one of its vacant units and we convinced the Assessor to lower its assessment accordingly.
These reductions will aid our clients in weathering the coronavirus storm.
Property taxes unappealing? We can help!
Appealing your property taxes is one way to ensure that the amount you pay is fair whether you live in the north/northwest suburbs, south/southwest suburbs, or in the City of Chicago.
At present, Illinois is second only to New Jersey with the highest effective property tax rates in the United States. Cook County residents saw a 10% increase to the average 2017 property tax bill with suburban tax increases coming in as high as 6.5%. 2018 also saw property tax increases throughout the Chicagoland area.
Staying on top of your assessment notices and researching local appeal procedures can help homeowners avoid being overburdened with property taxes.
Appeal.Tax can prepare your property tax appeal and handle it from start to finish. There is no fee unless a reduction is obtained. And we only charge a small portion of the overall tax savings secured.
Since 2015, we’ve saved Illinois property owners over $100 million in reduced property taxes. Let us help you like we did the clients cited above.
Contact Appeal.Tax today to discuss your Association, residential, or commercial property tax appeal. Tax Attorney Timothy Jacobs can be reached at 847-777-7270 or firstname.lastname@example.org.