At the Meeting this past Monday, the Board of Directors renewed our contract with Terrence Kennedy to file our tax appeal once the upcoming Triennial Reassessment is in place, sometime in 2015.
On Tuesday August 26th, we held our Town Hall meeting with one of our tax attorneys, Joe Huang, with Terrence Kennedy & Associates. He went through a summary of how Cook County Property Taxes are calculated and answered questions about that, the tax bills in general, and the process the Association goes through to appeal the “assessed valuations”. Here are the basics as Joe presented them:
How are taxes calculated in Cook County?
Three Primary Factors:
1)The Assessed Value, based on 10% of the actual market value as determined by the assessor, to be more precise. Joe told us that can very often be much different than the real market value.
2)State Equalization Factor, the multiplier which supposedly brings Cook County valuations more in line with the rest of the state. In 2013 that was “2.6621”. In 2012 it was “2.8056”, and in 2011 it was “2.9706”.
3)The actual Tax Rate. Most recently in 2013 the tax rate was “6.832%”, which was a 6% increase. (In 2012 6.396%, a 17.25% increase, and in 2011 the tax rate was “5.455%”, a 10.6% increase.
So to get your Base Taxes follow this equation:
BASE TAXES = Assessed Value x Equalization Factor x Tax Rate. Then just subtract any exemptions you qualify for (such Homeowner’s, Seniors, etc.).
What can we do to lower our Property Taxes?
The Board has renewed its agreement with Terrence Kennedy and Associates, for a contingency fee of 10% of the value of any savings they secure. They will contest the “Assessed Valuation” which is the only factor that we can have some measure of control over. There is no guarantee, but their track record has been very good in recent years. Once the Triennial Reassessments are released in 2015, they will be reviewed and compared to actual market values we are seeing in sales at the building and our neighborhood. An appeal will be filed with the Assessor’s Office and from there we wait about 2 to 3 months. Usually, we see very little relief from the Assessor, so it is likely that after that an appeal with the Board of Review will be filed – and even after that, if we are not satisfied, an appeal with the Property Tax Appeal Board can be filed.
The moral of the story, we do have an experienced team working on the reduction, and if at all possible we can reasonably expect some measure of relief.
If you have any questions, feel free to send us an e-mail.