The Property Tax Appeal Process
State law deems that property owners have the right to appeal a property assessment. In the Chicagoland area the assessment of residential and commercial property is handled at the local township level. The townships assess property on an annual basis primarily looking at closed real estate sales during the three years prior to the year of assessment. They also review building permits taken out on the particular property to see if any home improvements significantly impact the property’s value. The townships, depending on the size of the county, perform either a triennial (every three years) and quadrennial (every four years) assessments of your property with on-site observation of your property.
The most important aspect of the appeal process is there is a limited time frame of only thirty (30) calendar days to file an appeal. The township must send a notice of assessment by mail to the property owner; publish a legal notice in a newspaper of general circulation and post the publication and deadline dates on their websites. The deadline is 30 calendar days from the date of publication. There are no exceptions.
Appeals are most often submitted for one of three reasons:
- Overvalued — The assessment is more than the true value of your property.
- Uniformity— The assessment is higher than neighboring properties in your area.
- Property record error— The assessment is based on incorrect data, for example more square footage than actually exists, number bedrooms, baths, etc.
An assessment that is based on incorrect property record information is best corrected without the need for a formal appeal. The property owner can meet directly with the township assessor and present documents to support their case. If the assessor agrees, they can lower the assessment on the spot. In the other cases a formal appeal is necessary.
We monitor the Township Assessor’s websites and we will review your property to see if we can find a basis for appealing your assessed valuation. We offer a free review to see if we can find comparable properties or the purchase price if the home was bought in the last three years. We use this information to determine the Fair Market Value (FMV) of your property and then compare it with the township’s valuation of your home to see if the FMV significantly lower.
If we find that this is true then there is a basis for filing an appeal. We will then send you our Retainer Agreement and County Authorization forms. Once these are signed, dated and returned to us, we handle the rest of the process that includes meeting with the County Board of Review. The Retainer Agreement sets forth the terms and conditions for working with you as your representative. The Authorization form is required by the County as evidence that you designate Attorney Bal to represent you before the township and county.
The best part of the process is that only if we get you an assessment reduction, do we get paid. Our fee is one-third (1/3) of your first year savings due to the assessment reduction.
Contact Us To Start The Process
You will find answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the property tax appeal process on this website, but we are always happy to speak with you to answer your questions.
Call toll free at 800-599-2152 or at 630-912-5970 or email us to start the process. We work with clients in DuPage, Kane, Lake, and Will Counties. For your convenience, we have offices in Itasca, Naperville and Algonquin.