Real Property Alliance offers training on Chicago’s property tax system


Two private property rights organizations held training on Chicago’s property tax appeal process for brokers on Tuesday, beginning a program to bring private property rights education to practitioners and consumers alike.

Myer Blank, an attorney with Fisk, Kart, Katz and Regan law firm walk REALTORS® Melissa Szanati and Eric Firdman through the property tax process as part of a training session hosted at Coldwell Banker in Chicago.

Myer Blank, an attorney with the Fisk, Kart, Katz and Regan law firm walk REALTORS® Melissa Szanati and Eric Firdman through the property tax appeal process as part of a training session hosted at Coldwell Banker on North Halsted Street. The event was the result of a partnership between the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and Real Property Alliance.

The Chicago Association of REALTORS® has partnered with Real Property Alliance, a private foundation which has a goal of providing education to Illinois residents. The pilot training session was held at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage on North Halsted Street in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.

RPA and CAR joined forces to address large property tax increases many of those living in Chicago saw as part of a combination of a triennial reassessment and a property tax levy hike primarily to cover public safety pensions.

Brokers attending the session got a chance to learn how the property tax appeal process works in Chicago, and how practitioners can work with clients to guide them through the process of finding the comparative properties needed for an appeal.

“I don’t think a lot of homeowners understand it,” said Keller Williams Realty Partners REALTOR® Melissa Szanati of the property tax appeal process. “It’s complicated and it’s stuff that changes frequently.”

Szanati said REALTORS® who understand the process and can explain it to clients can provide a real service.

“I think after today it will be a huge advantage to be able to give clients a heads up … and give them resources so if they want to file an appeal, they can,” she said.

Said Eric Firdman, a REALTOR® at Coldwell Banker: “At the end of the day people look to us to be the advocates for this stuff. Even if we aren’t attorneys, we should know enough to be able to advise them.”

There is one additional session scheduled for 4-7 p.m. Thursday at the Coldwell Banker office at 1959 Halsted St. Brokers and the public are invited to learn about the appeals process, and RPA and CAR will have attorneys on hand to help explain the process.

The Lincoln Park area was selected as a pilot for the initiative because a narrow window to appeal 2016 property tax bills closes at month’s end.

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About Jon Broadbooks

Jon Broadbooks is Vice President/Communications for Illinois REALTORS®. He serves as editor of online and print content for the association’s communications including the Illinois REALTOR® magazine and e-newsletters. He conducts spokesperson training seminars and oversees website development for the Association.

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