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Cook County Assessor’s Office:

Property Tax Overview


Introduction to Cook County’s Property Tax System
2019
FIXING A BROKEN LEGACY
Why are we here?
• Keeping a promise: a listening tour throughout the county
• Delivering on our values
• Committed to you

Changing the narrative on the need to file appeals


• Breaking with business as usual
• Before: Appeals as first, last, and best option
• Now: Fixing the system with appeals correcting our work
WHERE WE STARTED ON DAY ONE
OUR FIRST 100 DAYS
COOK COUNTY ASSESSOR’S OFFICE VALUES
FAIRNESS
Deliver accurate and uniform assessments, with timely and informative notices, in
compliance with industry standards and guided by best practices.

TRANSPARENCY
Build transparency into every part of the office—making services more effective
and efficient—and earn the public’s trust.

ETHICS
Create an office culture of professionalism, inclusion and public accountability, with
engaged employees who take pride in the delivery of high-quality, accessible
services for all.
100 DAY ACCOMPLISHMENTS
1. Ensure seamless continuity of service to the public
• First new assessments for North Suburbs out on time
• Assessment/appeals calendar set with other county offices
• Great work done on customer service by our front-line teams

2. Develop CCAO’s strategic plan


• Internal culture change & listening sessions with employees on mission, vision,
and values
• Visiting Assessor’s Offices throughout the country for best practices
• IAAO audit visits complete; report released soon
100 DAY OBJECTIVES UPDATE
3. Reorganize CCAO to improve efficiency, quality of service, and ability to retain
and attract talent
• Ethics code on Day One; new organizational structures
• Increasing professional and technical training of staff
• Additional changes in operations/processes once three-year strategy is
complete

4. Improve CCAO’s assessment methodologies, workflow, and processes


• Next-generation residential models used for North Suburbs
• New, improved assessment model met IAAO standards for first 3 of 4 townships
• Data modernization bill: Written and passed the IL Senate
• Developed new, more accurate assessment models in only 67 days
• Still to come: Improving and maintaining quality data, enhancing valuation
methods and techniques
100 DAY OBJECTIVES UPDATE
5. Update CCAO’s information technology infrastructure
• Beta version of the field staff’s mobile tablet application to be released soon
• Risk assessment of current infrastructure and vulnerability scans to increase
security
• Ongoing website improvements and software upgrades (Office 365 this summer)
and removed internet restrictions

6. Overhaul CCAO’s approach to communications, outreach, and transparency


• 100 Day Report out now at cookcountyassessor.com
• Underlying source code as well as our assessment and modeling data posted
publicly
• New rules for appeal posted publicly for the first time
• Outreach team has done 35+ events so far this year with more to come
• New social media content and customer service
Property tax system overview
Before you get the bill:
Determining your property
tax bill requires input from
multiple state, county, and
taxing district offices.

The assessor’s role


in the process

• The assessor sets values &


makes decisions on
appeals.

• Assessor applies the


equalizer and applicable
exemptions to assessed
values.
Property tax system overview
Before you get the bill:
Determining your property
tax bill requires input from
multiple state, county, and
taxing district offices.

The assessor’s role


in the process

• The assessor sets values &


makes decisions on
appeals.

• Assessor applies the


equalizer and applicable
exemptions to assessed
values.
Responsibility of the Assessor’s Office

The Cook County Assessor does not set tax rates or levies nor
does he decide the amount of your property tax bill.

The Assessor sets fair and accurate values for 1.8 million parcels
of Cook County property.

The value of these properties are not determined on an


individual basis, but rather by a mass appraisal system. The
mass appraisal system is a way to put fairness into the entire
process.

The assessor’s only job is to determine the estimated market


value of your property based on sales of comparable properties
in your neighborhood.

Tax rates and levies are set by municipalities and local taxing
bodies such as school districts.
Assessing your property
Illinois State law requires that the estimated property value and
assessed valuation of your property be updated periodically for real
estate tax purposes.

In Cook County, this general re-assessment is done every three years.

If you don’t agree with the re-assessed valuation, you may contest it.
An appeal is made based on your assessed value, not your property
taxes.
Our new valuation approach
Change in philosophy and methodology
• Market and model-driven approach, less hand review
• Research-focused: data providers and firms, interviews with appraisers, real
estate bankers, and sales brokers

Collaboration over top-down approach


• Constant conversation and input from residential, commercial, data and
executive teams
• Final values are reviewed in an open setting with CCAO staff

Open and transparent reporting


• We release 30 pages of data and methodology reporting about residential and
commercial assessments when they get mailed out
• We speak with reporters, taxpayers and market participants about our results
Your assessment notice is NOT your tax bill
Assessment Notice and Tax Bill
Illinois law requires that the estimated
property value and assessed valuation
of your property be periodically updated
for real estate tax purposes. In Cook
County, this general reassessment is
done every three years.
Once reassessment notices are mailed
your assessed value will be reflected on
your second installment property tax bill
18 months later.

Your first installment is 55% of the prior


year assessed value.

2nd installment tax bill reflects all


Residential Assessment Notice exemptions, appeal results, certified 2nd Installment Tax Bill
assessed value, etc.
Property Taxes
A tax based on the value of the property, authorized by state law and used to fund
services provided by local governments
In Cook County, the majority of taxes go to fund school districts but also fund many
other services such as parks, libraries, emergency protection, and county and
municipal services.
Example: Evanston

Example:
Cook County
Property Tax
Breakdown
What are taxing districts and what is their function?

Taxing Districts are units of local government, such as school districts, park districts and
municipalities, that provide services and are authorized to levy taxes on property within
their geographic boundaries to pay for those services.

Before a taxing district receives property tax revenue:

1. Local districts must pass a levy ordinance and file it with the Clerk
2. Ordinance indicates how much revenue the district seeks to collect from property
taxes
3. Clerk reviews the levy and confirms the details of the ordinance with the submitting
districts.

Clerk calculates rates to generate the revenue, requested on taxable value, in


accordance with state law
Effects of assessments on property taxes
• An increase in your assessment does not
necessarily mean an increase in your property
taxes.

• If the tax levies, controlled by the local taxing


bodies, stay the same, increase in assessments
have no effect on property taxes.

• If your assessment increase is below the median


increases, it’s more likely that you will not see an
increase in property taxes.

• With commercial assessments up significantly


more than residential increases, it is more likely
that commercial property owners will see
increases in property taxes than residential
homeowners.
How, when and where do I appeal?
How
You have two opportunities to appeal: Assessor’s Office and/or
the Board of Review
When
• Every three years when the property is reassessed by the
Assessor’s Office or when each township is open for appeals
every year.
• If you appeal on either the 2nd or last year of the tri-annual
assessment, instead of the re-assessment year, there must
be:
• Drastic change in the real estate market
• Recent purchase
• Property anomaly (fire, flood, construction etc.)
• Physical changes in property characteristics, etc.
Where
• Online, in-person, by mail

Filling an appeal is FREE in our office and you do not need a lawyer.
List of Exemptions

• Homeowners • Disabled Persons

• Senior Citizen • Disabled Veterans

• Longtime Homeowners • Returning Veterans

• Senior Freeze • Home Improvement


Our first legislative step toward
property tax reform:

The Data Modernization Bill


SB 1379
Office of Cook County Assessor
Fritz Kaegi
118 N. Clark Street
Chicago, Illinois 60602
Phone: 312-443-7550
communications@cookcountyassessor.com
www.CookCountyAssessor.com