Answers to Common Property Assessment and Exemption Related Questions

(2019 tax year - tax bills received in 2020)


Do you have questions about your first installment property tax bill for the 2019 tax year? All first installment bills are, by law, 55% of the total taxes paid the previous year.

Any changes in property assessments from the previous year, and all exemptions, will appear on the second installment bills calculated this summer.


I had an exemption last year. Do I need to re-apply? If so, how?

If you received the Homeowner and/or Senior Exemptions last year and your residency did not change, you will automatically continue to receive both the Homeowner and Senior Exemptions and do not need to re-apply. Note: A new law this year allows for the automatic renewal of the Senior Exemption for those taxpayers who received it last year. All other exemptions besides the Homeowner and Senior Exemptions require annual applications.

If you received the Senior Freeze Exemption last year, the Cook County Assessor's Office mailed your renewal application to your home in January.

If you received the Persons with Disabilities, Veterans with Disabilities, and/or Longtime Occupant Exemptions, we mailed your renewal application to your home in February.

 

How can I apply for exemptions for the first time?

Note for new homeowners: If you purchased your home between January 2, 2018 and January 1, 2019, the Cook County Assessor's Office will mail exemption application forms directly to your home in February.

Exemption applications for the 2019 tax year (billed in 2020) are available online for the Homeowner, Senior, and Senior Freeze Exemptions

Applications for the Persons with Disabilities, Veterans with Disabilities, and Long Time Occupant Exemptions can be downloaded in early February from the Assessor's website www.cookcountyassessor.com. Taxpayers may also call 312-443-7550 and request applications by mail. 

Taxpayers eligible for prior year exemptions may apply for up to three years of Certificates of Error/refunds for missing exemptions.

Read more at on the exemptions page.

 

I do not know my Property Index Number (PIN). How can I obtain it?

You may locate your property index number on the following:

  • your tax bill,
  • your property deed,
  • your closing documents from the purchase of your home,
  • your reassessment notice,
  • notices from the Assessor's Office if the underlying parcel has been divided, (i.e condominiums, new subdivisions)

You may also visit the Assessor's website to search for your PIN by typing in your address on the property address search page. Input your house number (omitting the box that states house range), include your street name, your city, and hit search.

 

My parcel has not been assigned its own PIN yet. How do I pay my tax bill by legal description?

Often, shortly after a property is developed or re-developed, individual parcels are not readily assigned their own property index numbers. The developer may have requested to divide the property into individual PIN(S) but his or her request may still be pending approval.

In such cases, each owner is responsible for timely payment of his or her portion of taxes but need not pay the entire tax bill for the full property. The process for making such payments is commonly referred to as "payment by legal description." Through this process, individual owners pay the taxes only for the portion of the property, they own and this protects their ownership rights even if the other owners of the other portions of the same PIN fail to pay. Property owners who need to pay real estate taxes by legal description must make a formal request with the Cook County Assessor's Office at 312-603-6526.The Assessment by Legal Application may also be found on the assessor's website here.

 

How do I get my property location corrected?

To change a property's location, please download a property location correction form from our website. The form is listed under the "forms" section on our website in the sub area named "miscellaneous." After submitting that form to the Cook County Assessor's Office, the property's location can be corrected.
This is the link to download the form.
The mailing address is listed in the upper right hand corner of the form.

 

My name and/or mailing address is wrong on my tax bill. How do I get this corrected?

Property tax bills are mailed and collected by the Cook County Treasurer. To change a name or a mailing address on a bill, you must contact the Cook County Treasurer's Office at 312-443-5100. You can also correct this online at www.cookcountytreasurer.com

 

I need to verify ownership of a piece of property, if it has foreclosed, or if there has been a lien. What office should I call?

To verify ownership of a piece of property, if a property has foreclosed, or if there is a lien on a property, you must contact the Cook County Recorder of Deeds Office at 312-603-5050.

 

When and how can I file an appeal of my property's assessed value?

You can file an appeal but only if your township is currently open for appeals. Please check the Reassessment Calendar and Deadlines.

In 2020, the Cook County Assessor's Office greatly expanded the ways that property owners can appeal online. Our new online system allows filers to start a draft filing and save it to revise later, and attach documents. 

Please Note: You receive a reassessment notice notifying you of any changes in the assessed value of your property the year before any changes are reflected on your second-installment tax bill. That is the best time to appeal your assessment.

Any change in assessment (whether due to a reassessment or an appeal) in 2020 will not be reflected until your second-installment 2020 tax bill, which is sent next year in 2021.

All first installment bills are, by law, 55% of the total taxes paid the previous year. Any changes in assessment from the previous year, and all exemptions, appear on second installment bills sent in the summer.

 

What are the Assessor's Office locations?

Downtown Office
118 N. Clark Street
Room 320 Chicago, IL 60602
312-443-7550 

Bridgeview Branch Office
10200 South 76th Avenue
Room #237
Bridgeview, IL 60455
708-974-6451

Markham Branch Office
16501 S. Kedzie Ave.
Markham, IL 60426
708-232-4100

Skokie Branch Office
5600 W. Old Orchard Rd.
Room #149
Skokie, IL 60077
Phone: 847-470-7237


In suburban areas, assistance is also available at local township assessors' offices.