Do You Have Grounds for a Property Tax Appeal?

No one ever thinks their real estate tax bill is fair when it comes out.  But to determine whether or not you might successfully appeal your taxes in Cook County, look at these things:

1)  Check the description of your property.  If the county thinks your house is bigger than it is, you have a good shot at appeal.  Make sure you can provide blueprints or a survey or an appraisal that shows the size of your home.  Of course, if the county thinks your home is smaller than it is, it’s probably assessed less than it should be anyway.

2)  If your home has been damaged — water, fire, any kind of significant damage — that was not accounted for when it was assessed, you can appeal based on that.

3)  If your home is in an exceptionally undesirable location (and no, not being able to stand your neighbors doesn’t qualify as exceptionally undesirable), you could use that as a basis for appeal.

4)  Go online and do some research.  If other homes in your area that are about the same size as yours are assessed at least 10% less, you have a basis to appeal.  Ideally, these other homes need to be in your neighborhood and have the same neighborhood and property class codes in the county assessor’s system.

5)  If you recently bought your home, and if it wasn’t a short sale or a foreclosure when you purchased it, you can use the HUD or Closing Statement from your closing to show the assessed value should be less than what the county thinks it is.

Of course, you could meet all five of these criteria and still not get your assessed value reduced, but I do think it’s worth a shot!