Appealing Your Property Taxes
If you are appealing your own condominium, small apartment, mixed-use building, or family business property, you may represent yourself or you may hire an attorney. Counsel must represent corporations.
Note: this information is provided for informational purposes only. My office cannot provide legal services to you or represent your interests before the Assessor’s Office or the Cook County Board of Review.
Reasons for Appeal
- Lack of Uniformity – The assessed value of your property is not in line with other similar properties in your neighborhood. This is the most common reason to appeal your assessment.
- Overvaluation – The proposed assessed valuation of your property is higher than its actual value. It is encouraged to submit supportive documentation such as closing statements or purchase price of similar homes to prove overvaluation.
- Fire Damage – Your property has been damaged by fire, flood, or other catastrophe and/or part of the building has been demolished.
- Property Description Error – There is an error in the description of your property that adversely effects the proposed assessed valuation of your property.
- Building No Longer Exists
Steps for Appeal with the Assessor
Every year the Cook County Assessor will open each township for appeals. In years that your property has been reassessed, the Assessor sends you a Notice of Proposed Assessed Valuation letter. This letter informs you that your township is now open for appeals.
After your township is opened, you have 30 days to file an appeal with the Assessor’s Office. You can begin the appeal process by downloading and mailing an Appeal Form from the Assessor’s website, found under Forms, or file a residential appeal online. To request an appeal form by phone, call (312) 443-7550, or attend a public outreach program.
Fill out the form and make any necessary corrections to the property description. Be sure to mark the appropriate box for appeal type. You can file an appeal based on the “Reasons for Appeal” previously mentioned.
Compare your Proposed Assessed Valuation with your neighbors’, or other similar properties in your area, by visiting the Cook County Assessor’s website and searching by property, address, and/or neighborhood.
If you wish to send your appeal via mail, documentation should be sent to: The Cook County Assessor’s Office, 118 N. Clark St., 3rd Floor, Chicago, IL 60602. You will receive a receipt letter with an appeal number roughly 1 week after the Assessor’s Office receives it. You will receive an appeal number immediately, whether you file in person or online. With an appeal number, you can track your appeal online.
The Assessor’s Office will mail out a letter either granting or denying your appeal within 3 to 6 months of filing your appeal.
*Filing deadlines by township are located under the Appeals tab on the Assessor’s website, www.cookcountyassessor.com
Find your township on your property tax bill, or by visiting the Assessor’s website. Click on “More Search Options” under Property Search and enter your address.
Steps for Appeal with the Board of Review (BOR)
Every year the BOR will open each township. You will have 30 days to file a complaint with the Board of Review’s office after your township is opened.
To request a complaint form, call (312) 603-5542. Give the clerk your name, address and permanent index number(s), and inform the clerk that you would like to pre-register for the appropriate year. When your township is opened, the BOR will mail you the appropriate form. In addition, you can download a complaint form on the BOR’s website. Print out 3 filled out copies and either mail them or bring them to the Board of Review’s office located at 118 North Clark Street, Room #601, Chicago, IL 60602.
Note: BOR furnishes a form called Appeal Based on Lack of Uniformity. This form requests specific information: picture of your property, property index number, address, assessed valuation of your property, and comparable properties. You can support your complaint by submitting evidence of properties with similar characteristics to yours that have lower assessments. You should have 4 to 5 similar properties for evidence.
You may waive the right to an oral hearing by checking and initialing the appropriate box “yes” on the BOR complaint form. At this time you would have to include any supporting documentation.
Once your appeal is mailed or brought into the Board of Review’s Office, you will be given a complaint number. A hearing on your complaint will then be scheduled, and you will be notified of your hearing date in sufficient time to prepare for your appeal.
What to bring to your hearing: Board of Review Complaint Form, Appeal Based on Lack of Uniformity Form with comparable properties and photos, and any additional evidence you wish to submit.
If you cannot attend your hearing date, you may submit any and all documentation with your complaint form. You may be given some additional time to drop off or mail in documents, but they must be received within 5 days of your hearing date.
A few weeks after the township is closed, a decision will be mailed to you.
*Filing deadlines by township are located under Dates & Deadlines tab on the Board of Review’s website, www.cookcountyboardofreview.com
Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB)
If your appeal is denied, you can file a final complaint with PTAB. To file a final complaint, call (217) 782-6076. You may also visit PTAB online at http://www.state.il.us/agency/ptab/