Cook County Property Taxes: Questions and Answers

    Cook County Property Taxes: Questions and Answers

    When am I reassessed, and when can I appeal?

    Cook County is divided into three assessment districts. Each property in the county is reassessed every three years. The “proposed assessed valuation” for the reassessment year is expected to apply for the entire three-year reassessment cycle, unless the assessment is successfully appealed.

    Appeals can be made every year, but appealing in the reassessment year maximizes the potential for savings. Each year’s circumstances may justify yearly reductions, which would result in tax savings for that year.

    What factors are considered in property tax appeals?

    Appeals are based on the facts of the individual property. A thorough review of property data is always necessary before considering to appeal. General considerations are:

    • Current market value of the property and actual level of assessment applied to such property;
    • Income, if any, generated by the property and its expenses;
    • Use of the property;
    • Uniformity with similar properties;
    • Recent purchases of/in a property; and
    • Other specific property characteristics.

    Why should I hire an attorney to appeal my taxes?

    Tax payers and attorneys are the only people allowed to file appeals at every forum. A non-attorney representative may file only at the assessor level, and is prohibited from representing tax payers at any subsequent appeal forum.

    At each step in the appeal process, different property research and varying criteria are used in argumentation. Failure to utilize the proper materials or to file on a timely basis may deprive the tax payer of his/her right to object and appeal.

    The key to a successful appeal is the internal analysis of information and the proper filing at every jurisdiction. Attorneys like Gary H. Smith have the ability to analyze property characteristics, tax records and assessed values, understanding both their reliance upon and influence on one another.

    Attorneys have the exclusive right to represent other appellants at all possible levels. At each step, Gary H. Smith will decide how to move forward. The strategy is in the analysis, and this requires a competent property tax attorney.

    Gary H. Smith’s team of property researchers ensure that clients have the best chance to obtain a reduction. The vast majority of the cases handled by Smith have received reductions, and he firmly believes that if a client is entitled to a reduction, he can get it for them. Lastly, Smith believes in fairness, and remains committed to lowering assessments so that property owners pay only their fair share.

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