Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  The first blood bank in the world was established at Cook County Hospital by Dr. Bernard Fantus in 1937.
   
     
     
     



Cook County Will Review All Property Values Because Of The Coronavirus Pandemic
The impact of the momentous endeavor won’t be seen on individual tax bills until 2021.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020
WBEZ News
by Claudia Morell

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi is planning to reevaluate every single property in the county in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s a momentous endeavor that has never been done before and could have significant ripple effects in years to come, both for local governments that rely heavily on property tax revenue to fund operations and property owners who would have to pick up the tab. But that impact won't be known until 2021, when property tax bills based on 2020 values are mailed out.

Kaegi says the sweeping reassessments are necessary as the coronavirus wreaks havoc on the economy. Commercial landlords are expected to see a significant reduction in rental income, as stores and restaurants remain closed. Similarly, residential landlords face uncertainty in their ability to collect rent as unemployment numbers reach record highs.

“Our job is to estimate the market value of real estate and the crisis has a significant effect on many kinds of real estate,” Kaegi told WBEZ.

Normally, only a third of Cook County is reassessed in a given year in what’s known as the triennial assessment. That’s when many property owners appeal their assigned value because they are locked into that figure until the cycle repeats in three years.

Kaegi’s office told WBEZ that people who believe their property has lost or will lose value due to the pandemic will be encouraged to file appeals in the coming months. It’s still working on a schedule, but the assessor’s office plans to use those appeals and other historical data to reassess the value of some properties. Those new assessments — which become the basis for property tax bills — will go out to property owners on a rolling basis, and completed by December.

But even those who do not appeal their property values now could see changes to their assessments, Kaegi said.

For the south suburbs, which were already due for reassessment this year, the process will remain the same once his office can resume its reassessment work. Kaegi’s office halted assessments once it became clear all the values would be skewed by the growing pandemic fallout, he said.

The value the office places on properties determines their share of the property tax burden when local governments and taxing bodies determine how much they’ll need to fund schools, public safety and other services. The higher your property is valued, the larger your tax burden. In Cook County, residential property is taxed at 10%, commercial at 25%.

Taxpayers won’t know the full effect of this pandemic reassessment until August 2021, when their second installment 2020 property tax bills are mailed out.

Kaegi says even landlords who have worked out temporary rent reductions or forbearance agreements with tenants could still see their properties credited for losses, an issue that was brought up in conversations with building owners and tenant organizations.

“We know that so many people’s lives have been turned upside down in this crisis,” Kaegi said. “That building owners and tenants are working together, figuring out what accommodations they can make, and we want to make sure that we are being good partners in that process, that we’re reflecting the real circumstances out there that everyone is facing.”

As part of the pandemic appeals process, Kaeigi plans to ask commercial property owners to use a form his office created called the Real Property Income and Expense Form. The form was initially rolled out as part of reform efforts to address Cook County’s opaque and convoluted system of assigning values to commercial property. His office is developing a similar form for residential property owners who rely on tenants for income — called a rent income affidavit form — to be used in this pandemic appeals process.

Despite never having done such a wide-reaching reassessment in one year before, Kaegi’s office said he was “confident” it could be done. Kaegi is a first-term Democrat who campaigned on changing inequities in Cook County’s complicated property tax system. It’s unclear what impact these assessments may have on Kaegi’s reforms to make commercial property owners share a more equitable portion of the overall tax burden.

Laurence Msall, with the budget watchdog Civic Federation, says there’s “great potential” this work “will impact people’s assessment, probably to the advantage, or a reduction in many assessments.” But he adds we won’t know what impact it has until the tax bills come out in August of 2021.

Msall warns that the next property tax bill that will be mailed out this summer won’t include any of the changes Kaegi plans to make.

As for the long-term impact to local governments’ ability to rely on property taxes, Msall says only time will tell. “We don’t know, right,” he added.

One issue that may arise, however, is whether the reduction of assessed values in Cook County could have an impact on local government bodies, which will have less of a tax base to tap for their budgets.

“Well, in fact, if every tax parcel in Cook County is reduced, then yes, they will have less of a tax base,” Msall said, adding the caveat that it’s unclear if all properties will be impacted at the same rate or if new properties coming online will be subject to the same reduction.

“There are a lot of unknowns,” he said.

Claudia Morell covers city politics for WBEZ. Follow her @ClaudiaMorell.



Recent Headlines

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Tuesday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Officials see signs COVID-19 is contained at Cook County Jail, while experts caution measures need to remain in place
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle vetoes plan to give first responders addresses of COVID-19 positive residents
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Daywatch: Pritzker announces reopening rules for businesses, an exclusive look at Cook County Hospital
Tuesday, May 26, 2020

4 days in Springfield: What passed, what stalled and next steps
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
The Daily Line

Four South Side hospitals call off $1.1 billion merger plan after state lawmakers fail to allocate funding
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Cook County backs property tax incentives for 3 suburban businesse
Monday, May 25, 2020
Daily Herald

May 25 COVID-19 cases per county; search by ZIP code
Monday, May 25, 2020
Daily Herald

What is Cook County doing to provide property tax relief for homeowners?
Monday, May 25, 2020
WGN Radio

Family distraught after officials say Cook County Jail detainee died by suicide
Saturday, May 23, 2020
Chicago Tribune

75 more Illinois coronavirus deaths; state testing tops 700K
Saturday, May 23, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

See who's hunkering down at home—and who isn't
Friday, May 22, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Jail sees signs of COVID-19 containment
Friday, May 22, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Column: An exclusive look at the reborn Cook County Hospital:
Friday, May 22, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health projects up to $100 million revenue gap
Friday, May 22, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County juvenile detention center reports first COVID-19 cases in its general population
Friday, May 22, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County passes COVID property-tax relief
Thursday, May 21, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Board passes Sept. 30 disaster proclamation extension, property tax late fee waiver
Thursday, May 21, 2020
Chicago Tribune

COVID crisis makes 28 percent of Cook households vulnerable to housing loss
Thursday, May 21, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Residents say they are being kept in the dark about COVID-19 as nearly 90 deaths are recorded at low-income housing in Chicago. ‘This is dangerous.'
Thursday, May 21, 2020
Chicago Tribune

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP