Amidst the current crisis, Illinois property taxes have been impacted by both legal and procedural changes.
- In late May 2020, the Illinois General Assembly passed SB685 allowing counties to provide property tax relief by extending property tax payments up to 120 days.
- Legislation has automatically renewed homeowner exemptions (ex. Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption, Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Exemption) for a year without the need for application.
- Tax sales have been postponed until the COVID-19 disaster declaration is rescinded.
- The Cook County Board of commissioners agreed on a plan to waive late fees on property tax bills.
All of these changes have been in response to the spread of the coronavirus. Based on the Cook County assessor’s website, south suburban townships such as Palos, Berwyn, and Lyons were scheduled to have their reassessment notices mailed sometime between March and September 2020. However, due to the epidemic, the Cook County assessor suspended the mailings and appeal deadlines in March 2020.
In mid-May 2020, the updated appeal schedule was posted and mailings have resumed. Cook County property owners already received their first installment tax bills in early March 2020 and they’ll receive their second installment sometime in August 2020.
How Do Cook County Property Taxes Work?
For property tax purposes, Cook County is broken up into three main sections: north suburban, south suburban, and the City of Chicago. Every three years, Cook County properties in those respective areas are reassessed. That’s why it’s referred to as the triennial reassessment schedule.
In 2020, the south suburbs are being reassessed. This includes Berwyn, Calumet, Cicero, Lemont, Lyons, Oak Park, Orland Park, and River Forest. Using River Forest as an example, residential homeowners and commercial property owners were mailed their reassessment notices in early February 2020. Oak Park property owners were mailed their notices in late February 2020.
Why Should You Appeal Your Property Taxes?
In 2019, some Chicago north side and north suburban property owners saw sharp increases in their property taxes. That’s a major factor in Illinois being the second highest state for property taxes (just behind New Jersey). This is the third consecutive year Illinois has been the second highest.
Now that the Cook county assessor has resumed their mailings and updated their appeal deadlines, property owners should not stand pat. If you are a property owner, particularly if your property is located in southern suburbs, you should consider appealing your property taxes.
Many government offices are experiencing back logs and delays. This includes the DMV, City Clerk, the courts, and the Cook County assessor’s office. And while there have been considerations and extensions, property owners will still be expected to pay their property tax bills. At a minimum, it only makes sense that property owners have done everything they can to reduce their property tax burden.
Why Should You Hire KSN?
Due to COVID-19, filing deadlines are being shortened to accommodate a compressed tax appeal schedule. Nonetheless, KSN’s tax department has been taking advantage of the last few months to prepare a stronger case for our Cook County clients.
Our office prepares the property tax appeal and handles it from start to finish. There is no fee unless a reduction is obtained and we only charge a small portion of the overall tax savings secured. Since 2015, we’ve saved 1,500+ Illinois community associations and their owners over $100 million in reduced property taxes.
If your condominium, homeowner, or townhome community association is interested in appealing your property tax assessments, do not hesitate to contact our law firm. Please call 855-537-0500 or visit www.ksnlaw.com.
Since 1983, KSN has been a legal resource for condominium, homeowner, and townhome associations. We have four office locations, serving hundreds of clients and thousands of communities throughout Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Our attorneys are also licensed in Arizona, Florida, and Missouri.
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