May
13

Property Tax Notices Make It Easier to Appeal

May 13, 2011

Some newly designed Cook County property tax assessment notices were dropped into the mail today.

Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios announced that the first redesigned notices were sent out to property owners in Riverside and River Forest, as well as some homeowners in Evanston, Rogers Park and Norwood Park.

The new residential assessment notices are designed to provide homeowners with as much information as possible on their homes, their assessments and their rights to appeal.

“This new notice provides taxpayers with all the tools necessary to determine if their assessments are accurate and fair,” Berrios said. “They shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to find out what comparable properties are assessed at in their neighborhoods. We’re going to cut out some of the hurdles that have been in place for years.”

Each home will get a notice that includes:

*A three-year history of the home’s estimated fair market value

*The assessment history

*Transactions from the Recorder of Deeds

*History of tax payments

*Photo of the property and a list of home characteristics

The new form will include information on other properties in the neighborhood, with recent sale prices and estimated market values on nearby comparable homes.

A home’s proposed value will be reflected on the second-installment tax bills, which will be due in the fall of 2012, but the time to file an appeal is now: The deadline for Riverside and River Forest Townships is June 13, 2011.

With all this extra information, the amount of appeals will no doubt increase. Berrios said the new notices also inform homeowners that they don’t need an attorney to appeal.

“If they feel they cannot get that price for their homes, they should file an appeal,” said Berrios. “We will do the research for them if they feel we are incorrect.”

Each year, the Cook County Assessor’s Office reassess one-third of the nearly 1.8 million parcels of property in the county. With home prices continually falling, that data could be outdated by the time it reaches a homeowner, so doing your homework could be beneficial.

At cookcountyassessor.com, homeowners can file an appeal online as well as search for comparable homes to help plead their case.

“I am very pleased that the new residential notice will provide taxpayers with all the pertinent information they need to determine if they should file an appeal,” Berrios said. “I will continue to work to make additional improvements to the Assessor’s Office in order to make the assessment process as transparent and taxpayer friendly as possible.”

To see when you are going to get your Cook County property tax assessment notice, visit cookcountyassessor.com/appdeadlines.

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