Cook County Senior Exemption Deadline Nearing

senior-exemption-deadline-nearingApplications for two property tax exemptions for Cook County senior citizens have been mailed out to property owners who received the exemptions last year. The deadline for re-applying for the exemption is Feb. 6, 2019. The application is required every year, regardless of past eligibility.

The Senior Citizen Exemption entitles eligible property owners to an $8,000 reduction in the equalized assessed value of their property, reducing their tax bills for tax year 2018 by lowering the value of their property that is used to calculate the amount of taxes owed.

Senior Exemption Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Senior Exemption, a Cook County taxpayer must meet the following criteria:

  • Been born in or before 1953
  • Owned their property during 2018, or had a lease or contract that made them responsible for property taxes in 2018
  • Used the property as their principal residence in 2018

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New Cook Tax Assessor Promises to Shine Light on Assessment Process

Flashlight. Icon included flashlight with light. Flashlight in flat style.Cook County’s tax assessor’s office is under new leadership, with the swearing in earlier this month of Fritz Kaegi, a former asset manager who has promised a new era of accountability for the office.

Former Assessor Joseph Berrios, who lost to Kaegi in the March primary election after eight years in office, faced mounting criticism of his office’s handling of the county’s property tax system, including a Chicago Tribune-Pro-Publica Illinois investigative series that described a murky system of assessments that left some of the county’s poorest neighborhoods paying a disproportionate share in property taxes. University researchers and independent analysts also documented a flawed process.

Kaegi, calling the old system a “relic of urban machine patronage politics,” has pledged to bring transparency to the process and adopt practices that will result in fairer and more accurate assessments. He has also promised to make data and assessment variables public, “so that people can check our work.” That includes an audit by the International Association of Assessing Officers, the Chicago Tribune reports.
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Board of Review Opens Final Group of Townships for 2018 Appeals

Cook County Property Tax AppealThe Cook County Board of Review has opened the final group of townships for 2018 property tax appeals. If your home is located in one of the 4 townships listed below the Board’s deadline to appeal your 2018 assessed value is January 8th.

  • Bloom
  • North Chicago
  • South Chicago
  • West Chicago

If you miss your opportunity to appeal your assessment at the Board of Review you will not have another chance to achieve property tax relief on your second installment property tax bill in July 2019, unless of course you sell your home or become eligible for a new exemption.

Every year homeowners have the opportunity to appeal their assessment at the Assessor’s office and at the Board of Review, regardless of when their township was reassessed. The real estate market is constantly changing and therefore we believe it is in your best interest to review your assessment annually to ensure that you only pay your fair share in taxes.
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West Suburban Homeowners Feel Property Tax Pinch

West Suburban Homeowners Feel Property Tax PinchAn analysis of effective property tax rates in 35 communities in Chicago’s West Suburbs shows homeowners there paying property tax rates significantly higher than the national average.

In Maywood, property owners paid an effective property tax rate of 3.96% according to an analysis of real estate sales data compiled by the Local Government Information Service, which publishes West Cook News. The rate, based on a median home price of $125,000, was more than three times the national effective rate of 1.19%.

The effective tax rate is a measure of the median tax paid as a percentage of the median home price.  Other West Suburban neighborhoods are feeling the pinch as well, from Elmwood Park, where the median property tax rate was 2.15%, to Oak Park where the effective tax rate was nearly 3%. After Maywood, Countryside and River Grove paid the next highest effective property tax rates at 3.2% and 3.19%, respectively, the newspaper reported.
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Group 6 Townships Open for Property Tax Appeals at Board of Review

chicago-suburbsThe Cook County Board of Review has opened the sixth group of townships for 2018 property tax appeals. If your property is located in one of the 7 townships listed below the Board’s deadline to appeal your 2018 assessed value is December 27th.

  • Hanover
  • Niles
  • Palatine
  • Rich
  • Schaumburg
  • Thornton
  • Lake

All property owners have the opportunity to appeal their assessment at the Board of Review, whether an appeal was filed at the Assessor or not, to ensure their 2018 assessment is fair. Appealing at the Board may result in additional savings on top of what you may have already saved from an appeal at the Assessor’s office.
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Board of Review Opens 4 More Townships for 2018 Property Tax Appeals

cook seal v2Four more townships have opened at the Cook County Board of Review for 2018 property tax appeals. If your property is located in one of the 4 townships listed below the Board’s deadline to appeal your 2018 assessed value is December 6th.

  • Jefferson
  • Proviso
  • Orland
  • Wheeling

Whether you appealed at the Assessor’s office earlier this year or not, and whether your appeal was successful or not, everyone has the opportunity to appeal at the Board of Review to ensure their 2018 assessment is fair. Appealing at the Board may result in additional savings on top of what you may have already saved from an appeal at the Assessor’s office.
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Inspiration Cafe Lives Up to Its Name

Inspiration Cafe Lives Up to Its Name At Kensington Research and Recovery, we take a lot of satisfaction in being able to help ease the property tax burden for Chicago-area homeowners.

But for inspiration, we pair up once a year with an organization that devotes its efforts to helping people without homes, among other needy clients.

The Inspiration Cafe in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood provides what it describes as “hot, nutritious meals” to its clients, 365 days a year.
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Property Tax Breaks and Incentives for Some Leave Others Paying More

Rubber stamp with word exempt inside vector illustrationThe pressures facing taxing authorities in Chicago and in Cook County are unlikely to change any time soon. But paying all the taxes needed to close the budget gaps and meet all of those pension obligations is a constantly shifting process. A tax break in one place means some other place will be expected to make up the difference.

That’s the zero-sum nature of tax collection in an environment where budget cutting isn’t a practical or political option.
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Board of Review Opens Group 4 Townships for Property Tax Appeals

Cook County Property Tax AppealThe Cook County Board of Review has opened the fourth group of townships for 2018 property tax appeals. If your property is located in one of the 4 townships listed below the Board’s deadline to appeal your 2018 assessed value is November 13th.

  • Leyden
  • Worth
  • Hyde Park
  • Lake View

Each year homeowners have an opportunity to appeal their property’s assessment at the Assessor’s office and at the Board of Review. You do not need to have filed an appeal at the Assessor’s office in order to file an appeal at the Board of Review. In addition, even if you appealed successfully at the Assessor’s office you still have an opportunity to file a second appeal for tax year 2018 at the Board of Review. Appealing at the Board may result in additional savings.
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South Chicago Township Triennial Reassessment Notices Mailed

south shoreTriennial reassessment notices were mailed to South Chicago Township property owners on Wednesday, September 12th. South Chicago valuation statistics from the Cook County Assessor’s office can be found here. Homeowners in South Chicago Township have one month to appeal their assessment at the Assessor’s office (there is also a second opportunity later in the year at the Board of Review). The deadline for appealing your assessment at the Assessor’s office is Friday, October 12th.

South Chicago Township is the final township to be reassessed in this year’s triennial reassessment of the city’s townships.
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