Property Tax Appeals


Property Taxes are taxes levied on real estate (land and buildings) by County and municipal taxing bodies.

These taxes pay for schools, libraries, police and fire departments, parks and forest preserves, snowplowing, social services, etc.

Property taxes are based upon the value of the property. In Cook County, property taxes are computed this way: Assessed Value x Equalization Factor x Tax Rate = Property Taxes. The “Equalization Factor” is determined by the State of Illinois. The Tax Rate varies by township and neighborhood.

The assessor is a County official, whose job is to determine the “Assessed Value” of each property.

This is the value that the Assessor places on a property. This value is a component of the calculation of your property tax amount.

Cook County reassesses all properties every three years. This is known as the “Triennial Reassessment.”

It depends on the schedule for your township, which means the schedule to appeal varies by where you live. The appeal deadlines are published online.

A property tax appeal is a process where a property owner (or a Lessee, in cases where the lease makes Lessee responsible for the property taxes) petitions a taxing body, showing evidence that the subject property has been over assessed. An over-assessed property results in higher property taxes.

To save money. Your neighborhood’s official assessment information can be used as evidence to potentially lower your taxes. CMDA works with leading-edge technology using official data and detailed calculations and leverages this mass of information to protect taxpayer interests.

Non-attorneys can only appeal taxes at the Cook County Assessor, which is the same office that values properties in the first place.

To maximize savings, CMDA appeals most clients’ assessments at the Board of Review. We have found that the Board of Review grants more generous tax reductions, to a greater number of property owners. To appeal at the Board of Review, you’ll need an attorney.

Licensed attorneys not only have accountability to property owners but also the state’s professional and regulating commissions. Karen Anderson’s experience and certifications qualify her to handle complex property tax issues at the highest levels.

We have the knowledge and experience to select comparable property data wisely to ensure your appeal effort wastes no potential.

“Market Value” is the amount that the property, in its current condition, would sell for to a willing buyer. The best evidence of Market Value is the actual sales price of a property transfer. However, Market Value is harder to determine once you have owned your property for a longer time.

A Comparable Property, also referred to as a “Comp,” is a property that is close to your property, both geographically and building size and type. Comparable Properties are used as evidence in a property tax appeal. The more similar the Comparable Property is to your property, the better suited it is for use as evidence in an appeal.

CMDA works with leading-edge technology using official data and detailed calculations to seek out the best comparables for your appeal.

CMDA recommends that property owners appeal annually.

Yes, CMDA handles property tax appeals for all types of real property. While single-unit owners in larger condominiums can appeal individually, condominium/townhome associations will often hire one attorney to appeal for the whole building. Before filing individually, owners may want to inquire about their association’s plans for appealing their building’s taxes.

Larger associations will often appoint a board member or association manager to work with a law firm. For smaller condominiums units, CMDA can appeal the valuation if each owner agrees. We have experience appealing condominium/townhome buildings of all sizes.

Yes, CMDA handles property tax appeals for all types of real property. Net rental income and expense of commercial and industrial properties are key factors for determining assessed valuation. The Assessor’s Office values each type of property by the potential income that it is capable of producing based on average rates for the neighborhood and industry segment. To justify a reduction, CMDA must show the County reasons why a commercial property either produces less income or incurs higher operating expenses.

You owe nothing unless we are successful. CMDA receives a percentage of your first year’s tax savings, even though the savings will continue for up to three years.

Once the appeal process is completed, you will pay CMDA directly. We accept payment by all major credit cards using our secure payment portal, or, if you prefer, you may pay via check or money order.

A successful appeal lowers your Assessed Value. This is a reduction in property taxes. In a reassessment year, property taxes increase because (almost always) Assessed Value increases. In a reassessment year, a successful appeal means that property taxes increase less that they would otherwise.

It could be as little as eight weeks. Depending on your taxing authorities, it may take substantially longer.

In Cook County, taxes are paid in arrears. So, for example, 2024 property taxes are paid in 2025. The reduction will be reflected in your next tax bill.

When homeowners turn 65 years of age, they can apply for a senior exemption if they claim the property in question as their primary residence. Homeowners who qualify for a Senior Exemption only need to apply once.

If you have a claim for these exemptions, CMDA can help prepare reimbursement documentation for missed exemptions. Clients have secured checks for up to three years of reimbursement payments, plus interest.

No. Savings achieved at appeal show in your Second Installment Tax Bill, which comes due August 1. The First Installment Tax Bill, due March 1, is always 55% of your prior year’s bill.