Rising property taxes? Learn how to push back Jan. 6

Think your property taxes are too high? It's time to do something about it:
City properties get reassessed in 2009.

Guests from county government explain property assessments and how to lower them at the Tuesday, Jan. 6 meeting of the East Village Association. The meeting is at 7 p.m. meeting in the Happy Village tavern, 1059 N. Wolcott.

Dana Marberry, community relations manager for the Cook County Assessor's office, will describe the process, outline the tax exemptions available for residential properties, and suggest how to make a successful tax appeal.

If the county raises your tax assessment, you may file an appeal with the assessor's office if you believe it's too high. The assessor's office says you should think about an appeal if the new assessment is higher than similar properties in your neighborhood or there is an error in the assessor's data — although not all changes end up lowering tax bills.

The assessor's office is not the only route to lower property taxes. Carmen Berrios, from the Cook County Board of Review outreach program, will make a brief presentation to EVA members and help homeowners file appeals. The Board of Review is now accepting applications to appeal 2008 taxes payable in 2009.

Evidence useful in a tax appeal include recent sale prices of homes similar to the home of the taxpayer who is appealing, real estate appraisals, assessed valuations of comparable properties in your neighborhood, or evidence of a flood, fire or demolition.

Also at the Jan. 6 meeting, Sister Anne Schafer will make a presentation on the St. Stanislaus Kostka soup kitchen, 1351 W. Evergreen. Homeowner James Boatman will take questions on his property at 1744 W. Augusta, one of two zoning variances up for a vote. And the latest news on the state of St. Boniface Church will be discussed as well.
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