View Full Version : Has anyone ever appealed their property tax assessment? (Chicago suburbs)
09-03-2008, 02:30 PM
I'm trying to get my paperwork together to appeal our new assessment but of course they make it so difficult.
Based on the new assessed value, our taxes will go up about $1,000 next year provided that the tax rate doesn't chance (of course I'm sure that will increase as well) so I'm really trying to get our assessed value closer to what it should be. :sick: A referendum was just voted in to tear down our library and build a new one so that increase will take effect next year and several years later.
The county says that they base it on sales from 2005-2007 so I'm pulling sales from that time to compare. Right now, we have 2 homes on our block the same as mine on the market for over $100,000 LESS then what they say is our "fair market value" and a third one a few blocks away.
I'm looking for any help or advice.
09-03-2008, 02:54 PM
I haven't ever appealed my home's value but in my Real Estate class I learned that value is all in the presentation. You are off to a good start but you might also want to make sure you take pictures of your home and the other 2 you are comparing with your own...but don't take your photo when your home looks wonderful, let the lawn overgrow a bit and the grass brown a tinge.. not perfect but not so bad they'll think you are messing with them. Also, point out all the defects and take pictures of those too... crooked walls & ceilings, cracked bathroom tiles, warped wood, water spots, worn carpet, worn linoleum, weeds in the lawn or bad landscaping, cars on your street to show a busy street, old home insurance papers concerning water damage and even neighbors homes if they don't take care of their homes... essentially everything you wouldn't want your friends to notice could help your case.
09-03-2008, 02:58 PM
I'm in the Houston area and we protest ours often. We take pictures and addresses of homes that are the same floor plan as ours, and look up their assessed value online ahead of time. This year we had great success in getting our assessed value reduced a lot, but every year we've gone in to appeal we've gotten at least something knocked off.
If you have anything wrong with your house, take some documentation of that too.
09-03-2008, 04:29 PM
I'm in Bloomington, IL and we appealed a few years ago. They changed our assessment to what I told them I thought it should be (which of course made me think I should have asked for lower).
First, you want to make sure that the information they have on your house is correct - square footage, number of bedrooms, etc. If anything is wrong you need to get it corrected. Check your assessor's website. They should have a lot of information there on how to do an appeal. Make sure you follow all their rules and meet their deadlines. You don't want your appeal thrown out for something stupid.
I think you also need to compare to what houses have actually sold for, not what they are listed for. I used the assessed value of other houses because none like mine had sold recently. We live in one of the only 3 or 4 ranches in a subdivision full of two story houses.
Good luck! It's definitely worth the time, and I've heard that almost everyone who appeals gets their assessment reduced by some amount.
09-03-2008, 05:37 PM
I protested and got a reduction once. The appraiser who came said he appreciated the unbiased facts I presented....some people just rant and rave and want their amount reduced I guess. Anyway, what I did was look up comps, looked up houses in my neighborhood with the same floor plan and wrote some things up. In my case I was able to point out that my house was the smallest square footage wise, and also that we had no bonus room and that everyone who moved into this neighborhood was looking for/expecting a bonus room, so that made the value of my house less. I also pointed out the tiny master bathroom. In the end it all worked out and was worth the time and trouble I took.
Good luck!! And thankfully I have since moved from that little house into a bigger and better one in the same neighborhood!
09-03-2008, 05:46 PM
We were successful in the first full year of our taxes. I remember needing comparison sales prices which are all public record. I think we went through the township.
09-03-2008, 05:48 PM
I protested and got a reduction once. The appraiser who came said he appreciated the unbiased facts I presented....some people just rant and rave and want their amount reduced I guess.
We appealed last year when our town went through a whole-town assessment. I agree that cold, hard facts are your best weapon against an increase. Check out the field card for your house. It will list lot size, square footage, finished square footage, etc... We pulled out a measuring tape and found that the finished square footage listed was high a smidge as was the finished sq footage of the basement. We also found that our lot was valued the exact same as other lots of the same size in our neighborhood. We took in a surveyed plat map to show that a drainage easement going through our lot decreased the lot's value for making home renovations (can't build in that direction).
Since our whole town went through revals at the same time, there were many appeals going on around us as DH and I were doing ours. We were shocked at the number of people who went in with not one piece of paper (no proof) and were just wanting their taxes lower. :confused3
09-03-2008, 06:35 PM
You may want to call an attorney if the paperwork is too much. I work for an attorney who does property tax assessment appeals for a flat 40% of the first year savings plus court costs, and just the court costs if you don't get a reduction, and it seems to be the norm from what I've seen (I'm in NY state).
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