Part of responsible real estate investment is learning how the property tax affects our property. In this review, I will look at how you can navigate through a delicate property tax law and be on the safe side. First, always have a property attorney because the tax terrain is not always straightforward.
Chicago is the county seat of Cook County, Illinois. The county has an elaborate and well-developed real estate tax system. The office of the County Clerk handles property valuations and calculates the amount of property tax you pay. The Map Department keeps current official tax maps including tax districts. The district your property is in is used to determine the amount of tax. There are three major assessment districts, and an assessment is done every three years.
Property is divided into seven major classes for taxation purposes. These include vacant land, residential, apartments, non-profit, commercial and industrial properties. Property tax is the county’s primary source of revenue. The county also holds the biggest property tax assessment area.
Through the office of the Cook County Assessor, you may opt to go for a real property tax appeal process if you disagree with the assessment. This allows you to appeal a property tax assessment. In some instances, it may be the lifeline you need to maintain ownership of your property.
The appeal has to demonstrate a difference in the valuation or description of the property. Similarly, it should show a lack of conformity to similar properties. Evidence to support the appeal is filed together with the complaint. Property tax appeals are costly to the county and to you.
It is widely known that the county tries to discourage the process. Suburban townships win more appeals than Chicago city townships. There are twenty-nine townships in the county. Where your property is situated will determine your success rates too.
There are unique and interesting points to note about the property law. A tax sale system enables the county to sell your tax arrears for profit. If you don’t clear your property tax arrears in time, the county has the right to sell them off. This window is nine months. This is considered unique, as property owners in the rest of the counties in the state have only ninety days to clear overdue tax bills.
Property tax arrears attract high-interest rates. The system attracts a lot of private players and brokers who have made late taxes their business. The county argues that by selling off your tax debts, it can collect on time. Property owners are on the other end of the stick. Your tax arrears can lead to your property being auctioned off by third parties.
This aggravates the problem of homeowners facing financial difficulties as it only sinks them deeper into debt. This may ultimately lead to foreclosure. Recently, reforms have been proposed that will prevent the county from selling off home tax arrears.
The changes recommend shortening the amount of time property owners are allowed to have cleared their tax arrears. Professional real estate lawyers are the best to handle property tax assessment appeals. Numerous law firms have extensive experience handling property tax cases in Cook County.
The real estate attorney can enable you to obtain a reduction of the tax amount. A real estate attorney will evaluate the property. They analyze its characteristics, tax history and the assessed values in comparison with current market values. The analysis and proper filing are crucial to the appeal. You can also find an experienced and reliable real estate and personal injury attorney Tampa.