Mayor Richard M. Daley today reminded homeowners they can act today to assure that their home value reflects the nation’s slowing economy before tax bills go out next year.
"Property owners who have not appealed since their last reassessment and who believe the value of their property has decreased in that time now have an opportunity to go before the Cook County Board of Review," Daley said a City Hall news conference at which he was joined by the three commissioners of the Board of Review and suburban Mayors and City Managers.
Such an appeal will affect the tax bill to be mailed in fall, 2009, and not the tax bill recently received by Cook County property owners. The Board is now open to receive appeals.
"When property tax bills went out two weeks ago, many homeowners throughout Cook County were shocked to see that their bills had increased. In Chicago, many homeowners saw increases of $700 or more," Daley said.
"The officials joining me today share my concern that assessments should not be increasing when values are clearly decreasing. They also agree that we need to look to the future and create a property tax assessment system that ensures predictability and fairness are reflected in property tax bills," he said.
He pointed out that bills for most homeowners would have been lower had two things happened:
The mayor suggested two steps that need to be taken to address the problem:
"Let's avoid the song and dance of renewing the 7% cap every three years.
Every homeowner understands that higher property tax bills this year are also the result of our state's over-reliance on property taxes to fund education,” Daley said.
"Every homeowner also understands that as long as the legislature in Springfield doesn't fundamentally reform the way education is funded so that local property taxpayers don't unfairly carry the burden, there will be year to year pressure for our schools to increase taxes," he said.
Daley said Chicago residents wanting help in developing an appeal should call 311 and a representative from the Chicago Assistance Center will get back to them.
Suburban taxpayers should contact the Board of Review or visit one of its suburban offices.