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:
1. Uniformity Appeal:
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:
1. 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.
2. 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.
2. Overvaluation Appeal:
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.
3. 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 Search on 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.
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:
1. a written description of the damages and the dates when damages occurred,
2. the estimated date of completion for repairs or rebuilding, and
3.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.
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 valuation.
With the exception of Class 2 residential properties for which separate rules have been issued, the Office of the Assessor has prepared these rules to assist all Cook County property owners in pursuit of any claim of over-assessment.
Illinois law requires the Assessor to place an assessed valuation on all real property located in the county. The law also gives property owners the right to challenge the values set by the Assessor. Under the law, property owners must submit evidence sufficient to justify a reduction in assessed valuation.
Supplemental bulletins have also been prepared by the Office of the Assessor to specify the type and extent of proof which will assist in preparation of appeals for specific types of properties. These bulletins contain significant details and information which will assist in the presentation of an over-assessment claim. There are also extensive bulletins explaining eligibility requirements for the Cook County Incentives Program for certain industrial, commercial and residential properties (Classes 6b, 6c, 7a, 7b, 8 and 9 and L). These bulletins should be carefully reviewed when filing applications and appeals seeking eligibility under any of these incentives. Inquiries may be directed to the Incentives Department (312-603-7529).
So as to avoid hardship or injustice, the Assessor or his designated representative may waive any technical requirement in these rules.
The Assessor's staff can assist in answering questions regarding filing an appeal.
Owners of commercial properties and businesses may wish to consult with members of the Assessor's staff for assistance in preparing an appeal. Inquiries may be directed to an industrial/commercial specialist at 312-603-7526.
Notice appeals may be filed at any time within the filing period of 30 calendar days beginning with the date Notices of Proposed Assessed Valuation are issued for the township in which the subject property is located.
The Office of the Assessor has a policy for certain properties (you will be told if your property falls under this category) in which a letter request for pre-valuation information and documentation is substituted for the initial reassessment notice. This program is an effort to have access to information generally unavailable to the Assessor so as to arrive at a more accurate and fair initial assessed valuation. The property owner is given an opportunity to file an appeal with the requested documentation setting forth the property owner's estimate of market value and reasons in support thereof. This program is being expanded as more comprehensive automation of the Assessor's record base is completed.
The following documents may be required to initiate an appeal. Please refer to the respective Class Bulletin for more information.
|a) Real Estate Valuation Appeal form
This form must be completed in its entirety and shall contain:
||(1) name and address of the owner of the property;
||(2) common address, township and permanent index number(s) of the property;
||(3) total consideration paid for the property if purchased within the last five years;
||(4) owner’s estimate of the current fair market value of the property;
||(5) brief description of basis of alleged over-assessment, and
||(6) signature of owner or authorized representative.
b) Property Summary Sheet
|One copy of the Property Summary Sheet for the subject’s property type (commercial/industrial etc.) must be completed. Consult the Assessor’s bulletins for specific information.
c) Owner/Lessee Verification Affidavit
|In addition to the appeal form being completed as described above, one copy of the Owner/Lessee Verification Affidavit must be completed and notarized where required, and submitted with the valuation appeal form at the time of filing. This now requires an identification of the taxpayer as the owner or lessee of the property and the property’s common name. This form requires the taxpayer to declare whether the property in question was purchased within the last five years, and if so, to state the purchase price and date of sale and verify the income expense statements of the operations.
Appeals which are not accompanied by a fully completed Owner/Lessee Verification Affidavit when required, may be denied.
d) Industrial/Commercial Sales Questionnaire
|This is necessary when subject property has been purchased within the last five years. For properties purchased within the past five years, one copy of the Sales Questionnaire must be completed and submitted with appeal documents.
Failure to file these required forms and submit the purchase information and supporting documentation discussed below, will delay action on the appeal and may cause the Assessor's Office not to act on the appeal.
e) Field Check Request (if applicable)
f) Appraisal Summary Sheet (if applicable)
|g) Vacancy Affidavit (if applicable)
More Content & Supporting Documentation
For all property, except Class 2, a short and concise narrative explaining the reasons for the claimed over-assessment must be prepared and filed with the appeal form. Sufficient valid documentation should accompany the factual statement to support all conclusions of fact, law and valuation set forth in the appeal.
It is suggested that the Assessor's bulletins be consulted for recommendations as to the degree and quality of documentation. Specific proof may be presented for specific types of property and/or situations.
All supporting documentation should be submitted at the time the appeal is filed. Please Note: If a field check is required, it must be requested at the time that an appeal is filed. Appeals lacking documentation will be held an additional 15 days beyond the filing deadline, at which time they will be denied if not complete. (Note: The Assessor’s Office will post any extension to this time deadline).
In the following instances, the supporting documentation is the same for all types of properties.
If the property which is the subject of the appeal has been purchased or transferred within the last five years, the purchase or transfer must be disclosed and the purchase price and the terms of the purchase fully documented by submitting all pertinent documents. This includes, but is not limited to, signed copies of the purchase contract, the closing statement and the real estate transfer declaration.
All appraisals must also disclose any purchase or other transfer of the subject property within the last five years and shall address its effect, if any, upon any opinion of value reported in the appraisal. If the complainant requests a removal of an improvement from the assessment roll, the complainant must submit an affidavit as well as copies of the demolition permit, the paid demolition bill and any other documentation that will establish the date and the extent of the removal of the improvement.
If the property is partially occupied rental property, year to date income and expense statements and/or current rent rolls shall accompany vacancy affidavits.
Supplemental documentation may be requested by the Assessor’s Office.
Any affidavit should provide the following:
(a) identity of the person verifying the facts and indication that the person possesses sufficient knowledge of said facts;
(b) identification of the property about which said facts are alleged;
(c) time period as to which said facts are being alleged;
(d) person verifying said facts signs the affidavit in the presence of a commissioned notary public.
Affidavits as to the accuracy of income and expense statements, vacancy levels and demolition are required and are to be completed on forms provided by the Assessor's Office.
A Certificate of Error request is initiated in all cases except exemption claims by filing a current assessment year appeal accompanied by a Certificate of Error application for each tax year requested. The request for a Certificate of Error should also be marked on the appeal form with the basis of the Certificate of Error noted in the explanation box. The same rules and recommendations for affidavits and supporting documentation on a current appeal apply for a Certificate of Error.
One set of documentation supporting the Certificate of Error must accompany each current appeal and one additional set of documentation must be filed for each tax year for which a Certificate of Error is being requested.
It is recommended that a Certificate of Error request for a valuation reduction on industrial/commercial and residential properties be supported by a competent appraisal, limited scope appraisal, letter of value, income/expenses and claim of a factual error.
If a Certificate of Error request is based on vacancy relief or a classification change one detailed affidavit from the owner is required. In certain instances, utility bills, rent rolls, IRS schedules, fire reports, demolition affidavits or a second party affidavit may be requested by the Assessor’s Office.
All requests for Certificates of Error based on a claim for exempt property shall be filed in the Assessor's Exempt Department. However, a current assessment year appeal must be filed in all cases where valuation of a partially exempt entity is contested.
The appellant will be notified by mail of the result of the appeal. If the appellant is dissatisfied with the result, reconsideration may be sought upon timely submission of a written request which details in brief and specific terms the basis for reconsideration. All such requests for reconsideration should be addressed to the Chief of Assessment Operations.
The following offices listed for purposes of obtaining forms, rules and bulletins for filing appeals. Assistance in preparing appeals, except for Class 2 residential properties, is available through the Office of Commercial/Industrial Hearings in Room 320 of the main office and at all suburban branch offices.
(Located in Cook County Building)
Cook County Assessor’s Office,
118 N. Clark, Room 320,
SUBURBAN BRANCH OFFICES
(Located in Circuit Court Buildings)
10200 South 76th Avenue,
16501 South Kedzie Avenue
5600 Old Orchard Road
2121 Euclid Avenue