In Cook County, your Class 2 residential property is assessed at 10 percent of its estimated property value. The estimated property value is determined by analyzing sales information of similar homes in your area. For example, an estimated property value of $100,000 would calculate to an assessed valuation of $10,000. Class 2 properties include detached single-family houses, townhomes, condominiums, cooperatives, and multi-family residential buildings with no more than six dwelling units. (Separate instructions are available for condominiums and cooperatives.)
Keep in mind, the Assessor does not calculate taxes. Local governments, such as municipalities and school districts, determine the overall amount of real estate taxes collected in your community. It is important that your assessed valuation be accurate and fair, as it does play a role in determining your share of those taxes.
It is the policy of the Cook County Assessor to assess all real property in a fair and uniform manner consistent with the legal responsibility placed on the Office of the Assessor. It is also our policy to provide everyone equal access to the remedies afforded by the appeal process. In accordance with these policies, the Office of the Assessor shall provide experienced personnel to assist property owners who want to appeal their assessed valuations.
You will receive a reassessment notice in the mail when the Assessor's Office reassesses your home every three years. Assessor Berrios redesigned the notice to include a wealth of information regarding your property. In addition to the standard assessment information, the notice now includes features such as: as estimated market value for your property, mortgage and release information, a total annual property tax amount and sample comparables of other properties in your neighborhood. A reassessment notice contains a proposed assessment which will be reflected on your subsequent year’s second-installment tax bill.
Once you have received your notice, you have approximately 30 calendar days to file an appeal with our office. The last date to file an appeal is printed on the top of your notice. You may also appeal your assessed valuation in any year between reassessments when your property’s township is open for appeals.
To file an appeal online, find your property via our Property Search. If you cannot file an appeal online, prefer to visit one of our offices, or want to mail your appeal, you must use an official "Real Estate Assessed Valuation Appeal" form. Please submit one copy and keep another copy for your files. You do not need a lawyer, tax representative or appraiser to file an appeal on the assessed valuation of your home. However, if your valuation appeal is filed by your authorized representative, an "Owner/Lessee Verification Form" must be completed, notarized and filed along with the appeal form.
Three common grounds for appeals are listed below:
If you are concerned that the assessed valuation of your home is not uniform with the assessed valuations of other homes, compare your property to similar homes. This comparison will help you determine if you have reason to file a uniformity appeal.
There are two ways to do this:
- Simply fill out the appeal form, indicating that the purpose of the appeal is "lack of uniformity". You do not need to research and find your own comparable properties in order to file an appeal with our office. Our analysts will check properties comparable to yours to determine if your assessed value is in line with the assessed values of those properties.
If you wish to include a list of comparable properties with your appeal, please follow the gudielines below:
- For your convenience, all residential assessments will be published in a local community newspaper a few days after you receive your reassessment notice. The name of the newspaper and date of publication are indicated on your notice. The assessment listing will also be available at your local library.
- When choosing comparable properties, select homes within your neighborhood code that closely resemble your own home in both size and style. If the Permanent Index Numbers (PINs) are not known, the Assessor's staff will assist you in obtaining this information. You may also use the residential data books located in all of our offices to check if the comparable assessed values are in line with your assessment. If the assessed value of the comparable properties that you have chosen are lower than your property's assessed value, you may have reason to file an appeal.
- You may also find the assessed values of comparable properties by visiting the assessor's Web site property search. Pictures of nearly every Cook County property may also be found there.
- Write the PINs that you have found to be comparable on the appeal form that you file. Our analysts will use your information, along with our office data, to determine if the assessed value of your home is in line with the assessed values of comparable properties.
You may also wish to file an appeal if you believe our estimate of the property value is overvalued for any reason. You are encouraged to submit supporting documentation, such as recent closing statements or purchase prices of homes similar to yours, along with your appeal.
Property Description Error Appeal:
Finally, if there is an error in the description of your property, such as incorrect square footage of living area or an error that you believe may affect property value, you may wish to file an appeal. However, a minor error does not necessarily indicate an incorrect assessment.
A “comparable property” is a property located within your assessment neighborhood which has characteristics similar to those of your property. These characteristics may include property classification, building age, building square footage, land square footage, and exterior construction. A complete list of your property’s characteristics can be found in the “property characteristics” section when your PIN number is entered.
It is important to note that the Assessor’s Office uses neighborhood codes to distinguish between various neighborhoods within townships. If you choose to perform your own search for comparable properties, you should attempt to find comparable properties located within your assessment neighborhood. You should also try to locate comparable properties which have the same property classification as your property.
To file an appeal now, use the Property Searchon this Web site and click on Appeals. Once there, complete the information and file the appeal. If you do not see a form at this point then that means your township is not open to submit appeals. You may also file an appeal at our office, your local township office, or you may request that an appeal form be mailed to you. Experienced personnel are available at all of our offices to help you in filing your appeal. Please have your reassessment notice handy because it contains important information that may be needed for your appeal.
You may a request for a re-review. Get the form here.If you wish to appeal your assessment further, you may also file an appeal with the Cook County Board of Review (312-603-5542).
A Real Estate Certificate of Error (C of E) allows the Cook County Assessor to change a property’s assessed value. Illinois law provides this procedure as a way to correct a tax bill after the assessment for that tax year is finalized. A Certificate of Error addresses a single year. If you are entitled to a value reduction for more than one year, a Certificate of Error request must be filed for each individual year.
After a C of E application is received, it must be processed through the Assessor’s Office. If the property’s assessment has been previously reviewed by the Board of Review, the Board of Review must approve the C of E as well. In addition, non-residential C of E requests that seek a reduction of more than $100,000 in assessed value must be sent to the Circuit Court for a judge’s consideration. If a Certificate of Error does not have to go to court for review, you will receive a letter from the Assessor’s Office which indicates whether the Certificate of Error has been granted or denied. If the C of E is required to go to court for adjudication, a letter regarding the outcome of that C of E request will be sent to you by the Cook County State's Attorney’s Office.
Certificate of Error application forms are available on the forms page of the Assessor’s Web site or by calling (312)443-7550.
Residential property owners who experience severe damage to their homes as a result of a catastrophic event are eligible to receive a home improvement exemption of up to $75,000.
This exemption is available when a residential structure is rebuilt after a catastrophic event. The exemption applies to the difference between the increased value of the rebuilt structure and the value of the structure before the catastrophic event.
The residential structure must be rebuilt within two years after the catastrophic event. The exemption will continue for four years following completion or until the next reassessment, whichever is later.
Catastrophic events are defined as severe damage or loss of property resulting from any catastrophic cause including but not limited to fire, flood, earthquake, wind, storm, explosion or extended periods of severe inclement weather. In the case of flooding, the structure must be located within a jurisdiction which is participating in the National Flood Insurance Program.
To file for a Catastrophic Event Exemption, the property owner or authorized representative must complete a Residential Assessed Valuation Appeal form.
Along with the appeal form, it is necessary to submit the following materials:
- a written description of the damages and the dates when damages occurred,
- the estimated date of completion for repairs or rebuilding, and
- all pertinent records such as photographs, insurance reports, building permits and occupancy certificates.
Appeal forms and documentation may be filed by mail or in person.
An appeal may only be filed while the Assessor’s Office is accepting appeals for your township.