Divisions and Assessment by Legal Description

Divisions and Consolidations

The term division refers to the process of reconfiguring tax parcel boundaries. This includes ‘dividing’ and ‘consolidating’ parcels or any other action that affects the legal description or geographic boundaries of a tax parcel.

How to file a Petition for Division

A petition for division can be filed by downloading the following form and submitting it to the Assessor's office. In light of COVID-19, the Assessor's Office has created a process to allow filers to submit by email, read more here. Petitions can also be filed in person or by mail. If the petition is mailed and accepted, a receipt will be mailed back to the petitioner.

Assessor’s Petition Form

Petitions must be submitted by the due date listed at the top of the form in order to be processed for the tax year specified on the form. Petitions are processed in the same order as townships are reassessed.  Please refer to the Assessment Calendar for information on when a new PIN may be available and when an assessment notice can be expected. 

A petition form cannot be used to make changes to a condominium. An amendment to the declaration may have to be adopted and filed with the Cook County Clerk’s Recording Department.

Please note that for any newly created or assessed parcel, the taxpayer will receive a $0 dollar 1st installment tax bill for that year and their entire billable portion for the year will be billed and payable for the 2nd installment of that year.  This is because 1st installment tax bills are statutorily 55% of the total tax year of the previous year; which cannot apply to a new parcel. 

Forms Related to Divisions and Consolidations

Assessment by Legal

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 the 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 by filling out the Assessment by Legal Application (ABL).

Assessment by Legal Application

Please note that your application will not be processed without the required documentation, which is dependent on the property type as follows:


  • Copy of recorded deed
  • Copy of the first page of the condominium declaration AND a copy of the percentage of ownership

Townhouse/Single Family Home/Vacant Land

  • Copy of Plat of Survey
  • Copy of recorded deed

If an Exemption is requested and has not already been filed either online or in-person

  • Copy of executed applicable exemption application
  • Copy of valid State ID

The estimated time to process a request for ABL(s) is dependent on the number of years/installments being requested, the complexity of the parcel, or if the request is for a tax bill just issued by the Cook County Treasurer’s Office.  Please note that this is also a 2 step process. Once the Assessor’s Office has processed the request, the information will be sent to the Cook County Treasurer’s office to produce the apportioned property tax bill to be paid by legal description; they will either have the bill available for pick up or will be mailed it to address provided.

Contact Information

Feel free to contact the Division department at Assessor.Divisions@cookcountyil.gov if you have any other questions.