Callers to the Cook County Assessor’s Office during July or August may have noticed that their requests were politely rebuffed with the phrase “I’m sorry, our computer is down, I can’t get that information.” The reason: Cook County computers are working furiously to get out the second installment of 1997 property tax bills. Property taxes are paid in “arrears”. That is, tax is paid this year for ownership of the property in the previous year. In Cook County, property tax bills come out twice a year. The first installment, which, with rare exception, fifty percent of the prior years’ full tax bill (as of 2012, the first installment is 55% of the most recent full year tax bill) usually comes out in February and is payable in March. The second installment bills come out some time in the fall.
HOW DOES THE SECOND INSTALLMENT DIFFER?
The second installment property tax bill will include any changes in assessed value, tax rate, state multiplier, or tax exemptions. In many instances, the second installment will be larger than the first. This is generally because assessments for most properties will rise every three years (when the County conducts its triennial assessments). In addition, tax rates are usually generally on the increase.
WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO SEE AN INCREASE?
In 1996, the County reassessed west and south townships. Those townships are: Berwyn, Bloom, Bremen, Calumet, Cicero, Lemont, Lyons, Oak Park, Orland, Palos, Proviso, Rich, River Forest, Riverside, Thornton, and Worth. Lemont township assessments rose on average by 15.8%! On the other end of the spectrum, Rich and Berwyn townships rose only 5.7%. As a result of these increases, property taxes will go up for the majority of residents in these townships.
WHO IS NEXT?
During 1997, the County will be reassessing the City of Chicago townships: Lake, Lakeview, Jefferson, North, West, South, Rogers Park, and Hyde Park. Some residents of these townships may have already received their reassessment notices. Upon reassessment, the Assessor sends a Notice of Proposed Assessed Valuation to property owners listing the prior assessed value, the market value and the new proposed assessment. Property owners should check the information carefully to make sure that no errors such as locations or size of the property are made. If there are errors, the property owner can file a Certificate of Error with the Assessor’s Office.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
Well, for the 1996 taxes and some of the City townships, little can be done. For these people, the time to appeal the reassessments is past. however, any resident of the County can take action for next year. The current appeal schedule is as follows
|Last Date to Appeal8/15/97
Even after the appeal date, anyone can file an appeal for the next years taxes. Appeals should be filed with the Assessor’s Office. They can be reached at 118 N. Clark Street, Room #301. The phone number is 312-443-7550. Other avenues for appeal are the Board of Appeals at 312-443-5542 and the Property Tax Appeals Board at 847-294-4360. The Property Tax Appeals Board hears appeals from the Board of Appeals.
WHO IS TO BE REASSESSED IN 1998?
The North and Northwest Suburbs can expect a reassessment in 1998. The townships affected will be: Barrington, Elk Grove, Evanston, Hanover, Leyden, Maine, New Trier, Niles, Northfield, Norwood Park, Palatine, Schaumburg, and Wheeling. Good luck!