The whole idea of appealing your property taxes is to lower your property tax "dollars". However, when decisions arrive, you will notice there is no mention of "dollars" anywhere. That's because decision letters show "Assessed Value". We describe Assessed Value (AV) simply as a number designed by the county, just to confuse you. This calculator will clear up the confusion by translating the Assessed Value on your decision letter, into "Tax Dollars Saved"! First, please remember your reduced Assessed Value will only show on 2nd Installment tax bills that arrive around July. Simply grab your decision letter and follow the steps below based on what agency sent you the decision letter, the Cook County BOARD OF REVIEW or Cook County ASSESSOR'S OFFICE.
CLEARING UP THE CONFUSION ABOUT ASSESSED VALUE (AV): Assessed Value is 10% of the Property Tax Value (which has nothing to do with real value, in most cases the home will sell for more and it tricks a lot of people into staying quiet, go figure). Therefore, if you put a ZERO behind the Assessed Values on your decision letters, it will become the PROPERTY TAX VALUE on your tax bill. E.g. AV 25,200 = Property Tax Value $252,000
IMPORTANT NOTE A WIN DOES NOT ALWAYS MEAN YOUR PROPERTY TAXES ARE GOING DOWN: A reduction in your Reassessment Year (the year your property tax value was hiked), will probably not LOWER tax dollars at all. You will more likely be SOFTEN THE BLOW (increase). Attorneys make you pay dearly to SOFTEN THE BLOW. You are most safe with us and our LOW FLAT FEE, especially in a reassessment year. This Savings Calculator does NOT work for CONDOS, read condo estimates (bottom of page).
Step #1. Enter your PIN (Property Index Number) BELOW. We need this so our savings calculator can grab the most recent State Equalizer and Tax Rate from your area.
COOK COUNTY BOARD OF REVIEW DECISION LETTER:
You will see some ASSESSED VALUES enter the CHANGE number in the SECOND BOX and click CALCULATE SAVINGS.
COOK COUNTY ASSESSOR'S OFFICE DECISION LETTER:
If you have a letter from the Cook County Assessor's Office take your ORIGINAL / PROPOSED ASSESSED VALUE and SUBTRACT the ASSESSOR FINAL. Take that number and ENTER IT in the SECOND BOX and click CALCULATE SAVINGS.
*Tax Rates, State Equalizer and Exemption Values change each EVERY year on the 2nd Installment tax bill. Your savings was calculated using the most recent values available. Therefore actual savings this JULY may vary.*
If you received a 2018 reduction letter, it is good for only ONE YEAR, just 2018. These lowered values will show on the 2018 2nd Installment arriving around July 2019. Then those values that were just reduced through the appeal process, will get wiped out again in 2019. As 2019 is your next triennial reassessment year, the year Cook County Assessor gets to slap your home with a new property tax value.
If you received a 2018 reduction letter, it will be good for 3 years, 2018, 2019 and 2020. As 2021 is your next triennial reassessment year. The Cook County Assessor's Office slapped all Chicago homes in 2018, most don't know it yet. These increased values will hit the 2018 2nd Installment in July of 2019. It will send many packing, no joke. You may want to watch this video "CHICAGO: Estimate How SCREWED you are on JULY tax bill".
If you received a 2018 reduction letter, it will be good for 2 years, 2018 and 2019. Your next triennial reassessment year will be 2020. That is when the county will get to slap your homes with new property tax values and wipe out any reductions you won through the appeal process. The last time they came around your area back in 2017, our average client increase was 39%.
The days of paying a percentage are over, most people just don't know it yet! Property Tax Appeal work does NOT require a lawyer in Cook County. The rules are very basic and there is plenty of data (comparable properties) out there to help your cause. In other areas lawyers have been known to find loop wholes to get people off the hook. There are no loop holes in this industry, the rules simple and clear. All the flyers you receive in the mail from law firms or Attorneys talking about reducing your property taxes or getting you a refund are not fake. However, the materials they send out sound like "Only pay when you get reduced!" It is marketing at its very best, here's why. First, it registers as "a guarantee". However, you will never see "We guarantee a reduction" in print, because they can't, there are no guarantees you will win when you appeal. However, you can fight locally up to four times a year and the more you swings you take, the more often you will win! Second, their flyers sound like you will only pay a percentage of what they save you. So if your property taxes are $6,000 a year, the owner "thinks" they will only write a check if the "taxes DROP" below $6,000. When they mail their contracts, there is no mention of the word "dollars" its Assessed Value. The BIGGEST mistake many first timers make is signing a contract with a company that takes 33-50% in a REASSESSMENT YEAR. That is the year the county increases your property tax value 15-40% in most areas. This year the Attorney will charge you hundreds or thousands just to SOFTEN THE BLOW. He does NOT have to lower your tax dollars at all. Its all in their fine print. We do NOT have any contracts, another reason our customers love us! We are sure to inform all customers on enrollment NOT to expect a WIN on every attempt. Just like mom use to say, "You are going to WIN SOME and you are going to LOSE SOME". The point is to keep swinging and the more you swing, the quicker you get your property taxes under control. You can swing up to FOUR times a year, each and every year! So don't be discouraged by ONE less than favorable decision letter. Hope for the best but plan for the worst, another thing mom always use to say. Never expect to much, especially from the government and the Cook County Assessor's Office. They are the taxing body and it's their job to get your money. They often say, NO CHANGE and when they do grant a reduction, it's often a fraction of what the homeowner deserves. The majority of our competition does NOT even try to help their clients at the Assessor level, they skip it. We think that skipping any steps that can get homeowners even the slightest amount of property tax relief, is a stupid move. Even a fraction of what you deserve is better than nothing. GREAT TIP FOR YOUR FRIENDS WHO HAVE BEEN USING LAWYERS TO FIGHT THEIR PROPERTY TAXES: Most lawyers want to make a MINIMUM OF $300 on new or returning customers. How do we know this? I'm pretty sure it's explained in our DUMP YOUR LAWYER VIDEO HERE. This means your house has to be overtaxed by least $900 more than homes around you for them to make their minimum of $300 (33%) on a WIN. If they check your home and you are only overtaxed by $300 more than neighbors and their take would only be $100 (33%) they will decline on taking your case. Why? Have you every heard of any Lawyer getting off his ass (pardon the French) for only $100? Nope, it just doesn't happen. They will tell you "Your taxes are fine, call us back when you get reassessed". Because they LOVE to help areas that have just been whacked with another 30-40% increase. Now they are lickin' their chops and calling to get you on the hook with yet another contract. Most lawyers only help their clients every three years and this is "old school" and costing them money. We use to help our clients every three years also, in an UPWARD VALUE SYSTEM. The majority of the county is NOT seeing UPWARD values now. It's quite the opposite in most of the county. We were the number one state people are leaving for over a year. New Jersey recently took the title from us. We are now the #2 State people are fleeing. We've warned customers that the county is NOT going to lose the money. Oh no, the tax burden will just get transferred to those who stay. Our customers who decide to stay know we have a much less expense way of helping owners reduce their property taxes without charging a percentage. We don't have any contracts or hidden surprises and we are 5 stars everywhere. Not some places, literally everywhere. Nevertheless, if you received a fraction this time around or a denial, don't be discouraged. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Yes! The 2nd half of each year ends with a better agency, the Cook County Board of Review. They are usually the Knights in Shinning Armor for the struggling homeowner. They have the authority to over-rule the Assessor and that's pretty much their only job eight hours a day, for more than 85 years now. Please remember that reductions in the first year of your cycle typically last 3 years. Reductions in the 2nd year of the cycle, last 2 years. Reductions in the 3rd year of the cycle, last for only one year. If you do construction or pull building permits, the savings may not last as long as we just stated. So AVOID work that requires permits at all cost. In closing, we are family business that is in the business of helping families like yours survive here in Cook County by lowering the number one expense related to home ownership, the property taxes. Most Chicago owners are going to be in for a very painful surprise in July of 2019, that's when the 2018 2nd Installment tax bill arrives. This will be the first tax bill to reflect the crazy 2018 increases issued by the Cook County Assessor's Office. If you filed your own appeal in 2018 and WON you are still probably going to see upward property taxes. Why? Most reductions in the reassessment year (2018 for Chicago) will only SOFTEN THE BLOW, not reduce tax dollars. Feel free to use our Savings Calculator to see what you saved under your own efforts. Then be brave enough to call us and let us check if that reduction made your taxes fair. What most homeowners fail to realize is the moment you receive a decision letter, hundreds of other neighbors are getting the same letter. There are now lower homes out there, that you could not see just a few months ago when you filed your appeal. For this reason alone, you should let us double-check your efforts. Our Research Database finds the lowest homes, no matter what. Feel free to give us a call 773-409-4405. We can research your house over the phone in two minutes with our Research Database! Do nothing, get nothing and the county will continue to get it from you. They have a 99.9% collection rate.
If you write ZEROs behind their Assessed Value numbers on your decision letter, that becomes the PROPERTY TAX VALUE on your property tax bill and what they are doing to it. For ballpark savings, every 10,000 in reduced PROPERTY TAX VALUE for homes NORTH of Chicago is approximately $300 less in taxes. For condos IN CHICAGO it's approximately $200 less in taxes. For homes SOUTH of Chicago it's approximately $400 less in taxes.
Farlap & Associates
3447 W. Foster Avenue Suite B
Chicago, IL USA 773-409-4405