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Taking a Good Shot at Real Estate Property Tax Appeal
August 14th, 2014 12:37 PM


No Need to Bite the Bullet. Take Aim and Use these Options

You just paid the second half of your Cook County property tax bill for 2014. You’re irate, furious and curious. Who is this assessor, Joseph Berrios? Have they no heart in the Cook County Assessor’s office? Are they targeting my home and me in particular because the house next door has three more rooms and a bigger lot, yet I’m paying a lot more in taxes? But the biggest question of all is: how do I appeal this madness and do I have a chance of winning the showdown?

Before we dig into an ever-so-brief review, PahRoo Real Estate Appraisal praises Gary Lucido of Lucid Realty (an entrepreneurial whiz) for a chunk of this lucid content, beginning with some basics:

You’re not really Appealing Your Taxes
You don’t actually appeal your property taxes; you appeal the assessed value, which can be out of range with reality. The assessed values were calculated in 2012 and won’t be re-assessed until 2015 so you might want to be arming yourself now for the fight at the “Not-Ok Corral.”

Be Quick on the Draw
You’ve got to be fast, as opposed to half-fast and know what your individual deadline is in your township is by checking out the Cook County Assessor's Office . Here you can also access property appeal and tax forms and more info on how to file a residential appeal.

Your Six Best Shots

According to Mr. Lucido, you have the following avenues of appeal. The best shots in your six-shooter include:

1. Filing an appeal with the Cook County Assessor's office

2. Asking for a re-review

3. Filing an appeal with the Cook County Board of Review

4. Appealing to the Cook County Circuit Court

5. Appealing to the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board

6. Hiring Don Corleone to quietly speak with them

Ammunition you’ll need
Here are the arguments to use that have proven most successful over the years:

  • “You’re Out of Line:”
    You communicate that your home is out of whack with the assessed value of other homes in the area. This is the number one argument on the books.
  • “We’re suffering from Overvaluation”
    You’re sick to your stomach because you believe the assessed value is not in line with the market value of your home as determined by a trustworthy, reliable, proven, professional, dedicated real estate appraisal firm with years of accurate real estate valuation and appraisal (ahem) experience. This argument can be enhanced by what you paid for it or what similar homes in the area have sold for.
  •  “Your Data is Riddled with Flaws”
    The county could have incorrect information about the home that you own, e.g., the house is smaller than they think it is, was damaged by fire, needs severe repair, etc.

A Legal Hired Gun
There are many legal firms (and lawyers) out there who specialize in appealing for you. They take up to 50% of what you save in reduced taxes, but they know the ropes and this approach can and does work. It’s easy to sign up and they handle everything, but not everyone thinks this is the best way to go.

Shoot, we’re out of space. Respond to this blog post. Ask questions. Give answers. Fire at will.


In today's turbulent real estate markets, property owners, property investors, financial planners, lenders and portfolio and asset managers turn to Michael Hobbs & PahRoo Appraisal & Consultancy for prompt, trustworthy guidance and keen valuation insight into real estate appraisal, both commercial and residential, estate appraisal, real estate valuation, and business consulting designed to create transformational growth and success. Appraise our ability to meet and exceed your needs at

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Posted by Michael Hobbs on August 14th, 2014 12:37 PMPost a Comment

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