Cook County will be re-assessing property values throughout the north and northwest suburban area during 2019. Adjustments to property value assessments are performed once every three years. If your home has increased in value since the last assessment, due to appreciation in local market values, or due to renovations or improvements, your tax bill is likely to increase as well.
For new homeowners, an updated property tax assessment often means “sticker shock.” This is because the property taxes you’ve been paying were based on the prior assessed value, which only changes once every three years.
We should point out that different areas of Cook County and the City of Chicago have different tax assessment schedules. While reassessment is performed every three years, your specific three-year cycle varies depending on location. Here’s the current tax assessment schedule by area:
- City of Chicago townships: 2021, 2024, 2027
- Cook County townships north of North Avenue, but located outside of Chicago city limits: 2019, 2022, 2025
- Cook County townships located south of North Avenue, located outside of Chicago city limits: 2020, 2023, 2026
Elk Grove, Evanston, Hanover, Palatine, Schuamburg, West Chicago, Wheeling, Niles, Norwood Park, Northfield, New Trier and Barrington are among the communities facing new tax assessments during 2019. For a complete list of assessment schedules, see the Cook County Assessor website.
As a rule of thumb, your assessment value should be reasonably in line with your home’s actual market value at the time of the assessment. But sometimes the tax assessment comes in at a value that you may disagree with. When that happens, you have the right to appeal your assessment. There is no fee, and you don’t need an attorney to go through the process.
Appealing your assessment requires you to supply a basis for your dispute, along with documented proof to support your position. Once you receive notice of a new tax assessment, you have a limited window of time to appeal it.
It’s important to remember that your assessment isn’t the only reason your property tax bill can go up. Your actual tax rate can go up as well. The tax rate is determined by the budget needs of the local governments who get a slice of your tax pie. If their budget needs go up, your tax rate goes up. When your tax rate and your assessment value both go up, it’s a double whammy.
There isn’t much you can do about the tax rate itself. But since the assessed value of your home determines your fair share of the local tax burdens, you need to pay attention to it. If you decide to pursue an appeal of your assessment, you can find forms and information online at CookCountyAssessor.com.
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Ryan Gable Broker/CEO Starting Point Realty
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