Monday deadline nears to appeal property reassessment

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi

Aug. 23 is the deadline for East Village residents to appeal tax assessments. Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi led an Aug. 2 Facebook Live session on the process before 75 assembled EVA members at this month's meeting.

"No one understands property taxes," Kaegi said, even people who have been in government or real estate their whole lives. "It might be more complex by design." The assessor's job is to take the bias out of the property values used on tax bills. The question is whether the first-term assessor is getting it right.

Homeowners need to file an online appeal to make their case for a lower assessment. Kaegi contends the county's new algorithm, taking 40 different factors into account, is much more accurate for less expensive properties, but admits that 250 people trying to value 1.9 million properties may not know enough about every home.

Hiring a lawyer is not necessary, but condo owners are advised to make their appeal together. There is a later chance to appeal at the Board of Review, a separate process.

A previous posst summarized what the assessor has revealed about this year's Chicago property reassessment, are based on Chicago property sales from 2013 to 2020. A home's neighborhood, building and lot size, age and construction remain the biggest factors in setting property values. (For data nerds, the assessor's data scientists showed their work in a January Chi Hack Night presentation.)

Former EVA president Greg Nagel followed Kaegi with his view of the appeals process. Homeowners should ask for an appeal every year, the real estate agent suggested, because they do not require a hearing and assessments are never raised.

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