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.

And there are always tax breaks being negotiated somewhere. Sometimes, they’re in the form of incentives, like the ones that Cook County Commissioners approved last month for eight businesses that have pledged to use their tax breaks to create new jobs or keep threatened jobs from being eliminated. Local and state governments routinely offer tax incentives to attract and keep companies that, in turn, create jobs. Illinois is no exception.

Property Tax Break for Non-Profit Hospitals Upheld

Sometimes they’re in the form of exemptions, like the provision that allows not-for-profit hospitals to avoid paying property taxes in exchange for providing charitable care of equal or greater value.

That exemption was recently upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court in a case brought by a Cook County taxpayer who challenged the constitutionality of giving property tax breaks to hospitals who weren’t solely providing charitable healthcare services. At the center of the question was Article IX of the Illinois Constitution, which states that properties used for educational, religious, cemetery and charitable purposes may be property tax-exempt.

But while few rise to the level of a constitutional challenge, every exemption shifts the tax burden somewhere, at least in the short term.

That’s why it’s so important for homeowners to be sure that their property is fairly and accurately assessed. An inflated assessment multiplies your tax burden year after year.

At Kensington, we help over-assessed taxpayers reduce their burden by assembling the data that makes the strongest possible case for a reduced assessment. Our resulting appeals are successful more than 90% of the time.

Contact Us for a Free, No-Obligation Review of Your Property Tax Bill

If you think you may be paying too much in property taxes, take advantage of our free assessment and we will use our proprietary algorithm to determine how much money we believe you could save by appealing. There is no obligation to use our services, but if you do, you pay nothing unless we help you win. And we will not waste your time, or ours, assisting with an appeal unless we see a strong case for a significant reduction.

You’ve got nothing to lose but a piece of the burden.

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