Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB) Changes
The Cook County Treasurer’s Office has recently announced that they will automatically send out refund checks if your Cook County property tax appeal is successful at the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB).
Previously, notices were sent through the mail that your refund could be claimed, though some received a notice but the refunds went unclaimed, and some didn’t receive them at all. Though it’s not the focus of our business, we’ve helped recover these funds for a few clients.
How PTAB Works
If you feel you weren’t granted a fair property tax reduction after appealing with both the Cook County Assessor’s Office and Board of Review, you have 30 days from the Board of Review decision date to make a final appeal with PTAB.
This may sound good, but it can take you up to 2-3 years to get a PTAB hearing. If you win, your property assessment retroactively adjusts your taxes, triggering a refund notice. If you lose, PTAB can actually increase your property assessment if it does not agree with your evidence submitted on appeal.
You’d then have to go to the Cook County Treasurer’s Office to claim your refund, provide the refund notice as well as proof of payment requirements in order to obtain your refund.
How PTAB Works Now
Unfortunately, the PTAB process takes just as long for a hearing but, if you’re granted a reduction, you’ll receive a refund check in the mail without having the hassle of traipsing down to the Cook County Treasurer’s Office with a bundle of paperwork.
We congratulate the Treasurer’s office for making this long overdue change. We’re advocates of good governance, and believe this is the way it should work.
Reducing Your Property Taxes
While a PTAB appeal is available for those who are at wits end, the best practice is to have Kensington conduct a property tax appeal free estimate, then appeal at both the Cook County Assessor and Board of Review.
Based on our 90% success rate on 24,000 appeals, we’re confident that you will get a fair reduction, possibly in the thousands, without having to appeal to the PTAB.
Here’s the email from the Cook County Treasurer’s Office about the PTAB change:
RE: IL Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB)
Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas is pleased to announce a change in our policies and procedures regarding Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB) refunds.
Beginning January 4, 2017, except in certain atypical situations, the Treasurer’s Office will no longer require or accept refund applications or proof of payments before issuing refunds resulting from PTAB decisions.
Instead, upon notification from PTAB of its decisions, the Treasurer’s Office will automatically issue refund checks payable to the taxpayer, who will be identified using the Treasurer’s Office’s internal payment records. Nevertheless, all PTAB refund checks will continue to be mailed to the attorney of record as identified by PTAB.
We estimate that this new efficiency will result in a significant reduction in the time spent processing, reviewing, and approving PTAB refund applications.
However, please note that a refund application still will be required in certain instances, including but not limited to:
When taxes were sold and later repaid through the redemption process;
When there were multiple payees of the subject tax years; or
When the payee cannot be determined to the satisfaction of the Treasurer’s Office.
If an application is needed, the Treasurer’s Office will mail out a refund application to the attorney on file.
Note: In cases where a condominium association is the petitioner of record at PTAB, refund checks will made payable to the condominium association, not the individual unit owners, and will be mailed to the attorney of record as identified by PTAB.
From the team here at the Treasurer’s Office, we thank you for the opportunity to introduce yet another automation project that ultimately increases efficiency.
For more information regarding the new process please visit our website at cookcountytreasurer.com.
If you would like to contact us, please use our website’s Contact Us page and select PTABs as the topic. A Treasurer’s Office representative will respond within three business days of receiving your question.
Bill N. Kouruklis
Chief Deputy Treasurer
Office of the Cook County Treasurer, Maria Pappas