August 7, 2023

10 Steps to Appealing Property Taxes in 2023

Ronak Desai, Attorney at Parikh Law Group

Of course no one likes to pay more than what is necessary. This holds true for just about  everything, from groceries to property taxes. For some, receiving a tax bill in the mail can feel like a punch to the gut and cause much anxiety. However, did you know that you have the power to challenge that amount? If you believe your property taxes in Illinois are not correct, you have the right to appeal them.

Property Taxes in Illinois

Illinois is known for having one of the highest property tax rates in the United States. This can make owning property in the state quite expensive. However, by understanding the Illinois property tax appeal process, you can potentially lower your tax bill and save a significant amount of money each year.

Reasons To Appeal Property Taxes in Illinois

Aside from its high property tax rates, there are other reasons why many owners in Illinois appeal their property taxes, including:

  • Incorrect Property Assessment: If a property is incorrectly assessed – for example, if it’s recorded to have more additional features that it doesn’t have – the homeowner may appeal their taxes.
  • Economic Downturns or Property Depreciation: When the real estate market takes a downturn, or if the property has depreciated due to various reasons, property owners may appeal their taxes.
  • Changes to Tax Laws: Sometimes, changes to local, state, or federal tax laws can result in an increase in property taxes. 

Always consult a real estate attorney to understand the process and requirements.

10 Steps To Appeal Property Taxes

Appealing property taxes in Illinois involves questioning the assessed value of your property. If you believe the value is too high, you can file an appeal and potentially reduce your property tax bill. 

Here are 10 steps to appeal a property tax in Illinois:

1. Understand the Process

Each county in Illinois may have slightly different rules for property tax appeals. Generally, you’ll appeal to your county’s Board of Review. Some of the larger counties, such as Cook County, have their own independent appeals process. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the process and deadlines for your specific county.

2. Understand Your Assessment

The basis of your property tax bill is the assessed value of your property. This assessment is typically sent out annually. It is important to make sure that you understand how this value is calculated and whether this value reflects the market value of your property accurately.

3. Research Comparable Properties 

Look for properties similar to yours in your neighborhood that have lower assessments. Showing that comparable homes have lower property taxes will help you build a case for a lower assessment.

4. Collect Evidence for Your Appeal

Compile documentation supporting your claim that your property is over-assessed. This could include photos, sales contracts, or appraisals.

5. Complete the Appeal Form

You’ll need to complete the appropriate form for your county. In addition to filling out the form, you’ll attach the evidence you’ve collected. Make sure to follow all instructions and complete every required section.

6. Submit Your Appeal

Submit your appeal to the appropriate authority. This is typically your county’s Board of Review. Ensure you submit your appeal before the deadline. 

7. Prepare for the Hearing

If your appeal is accepted, you will be scheduled to meet the Board of Review. Be prepared to present your evidence and argue your case respectively and effectively.

8. Attend the Hearing

Your attendance at the hearing, in most cases, is required.  It is important to be professional and respectful at the hearing. Remember that the board members are not your enemies; they are there to help ensure that assessments are fair and in accordance with county tax standards. The goal is to clearly present your evidence and explain why you believe your property tax is incorrect.

9. Wait for the Decision

After your hearing, the Board of Review will consider your matter and make a decision. If they agree with you, your property’s assessed value (and your property taxes) will be reduced.

10. Review the Decision

If the board agrees with you, your property taxes will be adjusted accordingly. If they disagree, be sure to review their reasoning so that you understand their conclusions.

Remember, each county in Illinois might have a slightly different process, so it’s essential to check the specific details for your county. It can also be beneficial to consult with a property tax attorney or a tax consultant. They can help guide you through the process, navigate the specific rules and forms for your county, and assist you with gathering the necessary evidence for your appeal.

A Property Tax Appeals Attorney in Illinois Can Help You

Appealing your property taxes can be a complex and daunting process. But you don’t have to navigate it alone. At Parikh Law Group, we have a team of real estate attorneys serving in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. They have years of experience in helping homeowners with Illinois property tax appeals. Whether you’re dealing with a simple Chicago real estate matter or a complex property tax appeal, the attorneys at Parikh Law Group can provide you with the assistance and guidance you need.