In February each year, the Cook County Treasurer releases new tax rates to the public, which are then used to determine the tax bill. Often the numbers are a mystery, but property owners should know what these numbers mean and how the money is being used.
Regardless of the property value, it’s the tax rate set by the county that impacts the tax bill’s bottom line. The tax rate is set based on the amount of money the local taxing districts need to operate in the coming year, plus the equalized assessed value of the property.
How are Property Tax Purposes set up in Cook County?
For property tax purposes, Cook County breaks up into three sections: North suburban (covers Park Ridge out to Barrington cities), South suburban, and the City of Chicago. Every three years, properties in these respective areas of Cook County are assessed. Hence, it’s referred to as the triennial reassessment schedule.
Cook County property taxes start with the budget, and the dollar amount needed to collect in order to meet that budget spread across all the residential and commercial properties in the county, based on what those properties are worth.
The first installment in Cook County is generally considered a “deposit” against the full year tax bill. This first installment, due typically between February & March, will always be 55% of the prior years 1st and 2nd installment combined. According to the Illinois Department of Revenue, most property is assessed at 33% of its fair market value.
In 2020, the South suburbs were reassessed, including Berwyn, Calumet City, Cicero, Lyons, Oak Park, Orland Park, and River Forest.
Looking to keep up with the complex world of Cook County property taxes? Check out this article by tax appeal expert Tim Jacobs from KSN Law, who explains how Illinois property taxes have been impacted by both legal and procedural changes.
Also, don’t forget to listen to the full podcast episode of Straight Up Chicago Investor, with your hosts Mark Ainley from GC Realty & Development, LLC and Tom Shallcross. The guest for this show, Tim Jacobs, dives deep into Illinois property taxes and about the multiple ways you can appeal property taxes in Chicago He also discusses the tax assessment cycle and what data points you can leverage to strengthen your apparel cases.
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