Tax Appraisal Basics

Peterson Appraisal Group, Ltd. specializes in commercial and industrial real estate appraisals to help owners seeking a more equitable assessment for their commercial properties in Chicago and Cook County, Illinois.

When confronted with a property tax assessment that is too high, the property owner has a couple of choices.  He can seek to challenge the assessment on his own or go through a tax attorney or tax reduction firm that can represent them.  Attorney's and tax appeal firms generally charge on a percentage of savings basis so only cost money if they are successful.  If you choose to go this route we work with several attorneys and firms we would recommend. A summary of the 2014 Cook County Tax Rates (last date available) can be found here.

Either way you choose to go, an appraisal is usually required.  Unless there is an obvious error, the assessor would require some documentation to support a lower assessment.  For commercial properties that documentation is typically an appraisal.

The Cook County Assessor's office will typically allow smaller properties (under $500,000 appraised value as a current rule of thumb) to present a more limited scope appraisal which can save the client some money.  More complicated or larger commercial properties generally require a full appraisal.

The Daily herald (10/5/2011) published their findings on the effectiveness of property tax appeals with the Cook county Board of Review based upon an analysis of 377,000 assessment appeals. As the daily Herald paper serves the northwest suburbs, their analysis covered townships in Northwest Suburban Cook County. Their findings were as follows:

 Assessment Reductions Based Upon Appeals

Barrington Township - 31.3%
Elk Grove Township - 27.1%
Hanover Township - 22.5%
Main Township - 26.7%
Palatine Township - 19.4%
Schaumburg Township - 16.9%
Wheeling Township - 22.0%

The Daily Herald reported that commercial property appeals averaged 24% reductions while residential appeals averaged 10%. They attributed the higher success rates of commercial property appeals to the fact that there is typically more money involved and commercial owners are more likely to have professional representation in the process. It is important to note however, that many properties are fairly assessed and could not expect to see a reduction. Every property is different and it is ultimately the Assessor or Board of Review that sets assessment levels.

Over the years we have literally valued thousands of commercial properties for real estate tax assessment purposes.  We have appraised everything from small storefronts or mixed use properties to large industrials, apartments, strip centers or office towers in the Loop.  We have two MAI designated appraisers on staff and a large group of Certified and Licensed appraisers we work with.

If you would like more information about your next steps please feel free to email or give us a call.  There is no cost or obligation.

No homes or small apartments (four units or smaller) please.  We exclusively focus on commercial and industrial real estate.

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