The office of Board of Review Commissioner Mike Cabonargi held a property tax appeal workshop to educate Northwest Side residents on how to appeal their 2019 property tax assessments. The Dec. 9 workshop at Avondale-Logandale Elementary (3212 W. George St.) had about 30 in attendance. The event was co-hosted by Alderman Carlos-Rogriguez Rosa (35th Ward), Alderman Rossana Rodriguez (30th Ward), Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr. (8th District), Senator Iris Y. Martinez (20th District) and Representative Jaime M. Andrade, Jr. (40th District).
The appeals workshop took place after Logan Square was revealed to have the highest property tax increase in 2018 in Chicago, at approximately 24 percent.
Representative Andrade began the meeting and spoke about his personal struggles paying his property taxes, saying they were in the five-figure range and burdensome to his income. Next, Alderman Ramirez-Rosa expressed his desire to move tax burden away from the middle class and working-class homeowners and toward businesses.
“Middle-class wages have been stagnant for decades, yet we see that your property taxes, your cost of living continue to go up,” Ramirez-Rosa said. “At the same time, we have seen the amount of wealth go to the 1 percent, go to big corporations, be more than you’ve ever seen in the history of the world. So we know that we can ask the corporations downtown to pay more taxes.”
Mike Richards, with Commissioner Cabonargi’s office, began the presentation, which had a Spanish translation. He was quick to expound that anything a property owner does with the Commissioner’s office will not result in higher taxes for themselves or their neighbors. Richards said this is how Cook County Property Taxes are spent:
- 58% to schools
- 23% to local municipalities
- 9% to Cook County
- 6% to the Water Reclamation District
- 3% to libraries
- 1% to the forest preserve
He explained that property taxes are calculated by this equation: Assessed Value x Equalizer x Tax Rate = Tax Bill.
“Assessed value is the percentage of the Fair Market Value,” Richards’ PowerPoint read. Cook County Property tax bills are paid in arrears in two installments. The first bill is mailed Feb. 1 and is due March 1; it is simply 55 percent of the previous year’s bill and does not include any exemptions. The second bill is mailed July 1 and is due August 1. It charges the remaining taxes due and includes exemptions and BOR Reduction. Exemptions exist for long-time homeowners, senior citizens, disabled persons, disabled veterans, returning veterans and more. This second bill is what property owners can appeal with Cabonargi’s office.
Property owners can appeal every year by the township, Richards said. Grounds for appeal include but are not limited to: factual errors in property description, property damage and neighboring properties being assessed at a lower value.
Most of Logan Square is located in the West Chicago Township, which has until Dec. 17 to file appeals. Townships are used primarily for property tax assessments in the City of Chicago.
According to literature distributed at the event, the Cook County Board of Review consists of three Commissioners elected from individual districts in Cook County. Commissioner Cabonargi represents the Second District, which includes Chicago’s downtown, North, Northwest and Southwest communities, as well as all or part of Evanston, New Trier, Niles, Maine, Norwood Park and Leyden townships.
To learn more about the appeals process, contact Commissioner Cabonargi’s office at 312-603-5560 or visit the Cook County Board of Review’s website.
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