How appealing property tax assessments can pay off

Bigstock Images

Illinois REALTORS® can demonstrate their value to homeowners by sharing their knowledge of the local property tax process.

That expertise can pay off for property owners who receive tax assessment notices and want to appeal increases. In Cook County, for example, a Chicago Tribune columnist discovered more than 80 percent of property owners who appealed their 2016 assessments earned reductions. That figure included appeals initially rejected but then overturned by the Cook County Board of Review.

In this particular investigation, the reporter found more than 40 percent of property owners in counties surrounding Chicago successfully appealed their assessments, although one county was lower than 3 percent. REALTORS® what’s the situation in your county?

Appeal strategies compare assessments or the recent sale prices of similarly sized nearby homes. Homeowners may appreciate answers to questions like these:

  • Who is the county assessor?
  • When are property assessments sent to taxpayers?
  • When is the deadline for appeals?
  • What forms are used for appeals?
  • Can appeals be made electronically or must they be done in person at the assessor’s office?
  • How long does it take to gather evidence of similar properties?
  • How long to fill out appeals forms?
  • What is the time frame for appeals decisions?

Combine your knowledge of this information with resources that can help explain Illinois property taxes and the appeals process. Go to the Real Property Alliance website at

New law clarifies property tax assessments

There’s been something missing from property tax assessments. Until now, distressed property sales and the effect they have on area property values were not considered in the assessment process.

The Illinois Association of REALTORS® supported a bill that sought to amend the Illinois Property Tax Code and include distressed property sales into property tax assessments. Senate Bill 3334, which became law on July 16, will allow for a more complete and balanced picture of property values in a community. Property owners who seek to appeal their property taxes will be armed with the most accurate information available.

The IAR Governmental Affairs team provided real estate expertise and knowledge needed to craft this legislation, which is meant to result in more accurate property tax assessments.

Watch the video below for more details regarding the new law: