The Cook County Assessor’s Office recently announced updates to its assessment and appeal process in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Normally, one-third of Cook County is reassessed in any given year, but due to the projected impact of COVID-19 on property values, the Assessor announced adjustments are planned across the entire county.
To make assessments equitable across the board for all Cook County property owners, properties located in those townships of Cook County which were not scheduled for reassessment in 2020 will still have their property values reviewed for estimated effects of COVID-19. Properties located in townships which have already received reassessment notices for 2020 will also be subject to further review.
What this precisely means remains unclear. What we do know is that the Assessor and his staff of 235 plan to review values of all 1.8 million parcels in the county this year, something the Assessor’s Office has never done before, and at a time of extreme chaos and confusion in the real estate market. The stakes are high for county taxpayers, who could see their property tax bills rise or fall depending on the results.
The extra workload on the Assessor’s Office only increases the risk that assessments will be arbitrary and inaccurate, the very problem the recently elected Assessor Fritz Kaegi vowed to fix. Adding to that risk, the financial data needed to accurately value commercial real estate will be diminished as most of the market has shut down. Without sufficient and accurate data, estimating what a property is worth becomes a guessing game.
It is imperative that taxpayers and property owners remain vigilant when it comes to reviewing and timely appealing the property tax assessments. Members of the DUGGAN BERTSCH team are ready to make sure that the current crisis is accurately reflected in all property tax assessments. Please contact your DUGGAN BERTSCH representative for more information or assistance.