How to Appeal Property Taxes: A Comprehensive Guide

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Are you a homeowner looking to appeal your residential real estate property taxes? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will address frequently asked questions about appealing property taxes and provide you with a step-by-step process to help you navigate this complex issue. So, let’s dive in!

Understanding Property Tax Appeals

We interviewed Fred Augustine, a real estate attorney specializing in property tax appeals in the Chicagoland area, to get his expert insights on the matter. According to Fred, property tax appeals are primarily a local issue, specific to each county’s laws and regulations. In Cook County, Illinois, where Fred practices, the local tax rates are determined by the municipalities and properties are assessed by the Assessor’s office.

The Assessment Process

To understand how property taxes are calculated and how they can be appealed, it’s essential to grasp the assessment process. In Cook County, the assessed value of a residential property is 10% of the Assessor’s estimated fair market value. This assessment is the basis for determining property taxes. However, if you believe that your property has been over-assessed, you have the right to appeal.

Appealing Your Property Taxes: Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Know your deadlines: It is crucial to be aware of the appeal deadlines in your jurisdiction. In Cook County, the assessor’s office and the Board of Review have specific timeframes for filing appeals.
  2. Gather supporting evidence: To strengthen your appeal, you need to provide evidence that supports your claim of over-assessment. This can be done through either the market value approach or the uniformity approach.
  3. Market value approach: Obtain a professional appraisal to determine the fair market value of your property. This can be compared to the Assessor’s estimated value.
  4. Uniformity approach: Research comparable properties in your area with lower assessments per square foot than your property. This demonstrates a lack of uniformity in assessments, which can be a valid ground for appeal.
  5. File your appeal: In Cook County, you can file your appeal at either the Assessor’s office or the Board of Review. If you are not satisfied with the review board’s decision, you can escalate the appeal to the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board or the Cook County Circuit Court.

Appeals and Property Tax Reassessment

It’s important to note the distinction between appealing your property taxes and the regular reassessment process. In Cook County, all properties are reassessed every three years, but you can appeal your property taxes annually. So, even if your property was recently reassessed, you can still file an appeal and potentially save on your taxes.

Cost of Hiring a Real Estate Attorney

The cost of hiring a real estate attorney for property tax appeals varies. In many cases, attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they only charge a percentage of the amount they are able to save you in property tax dollars. If they are unsuccessful in obtaining a reduction in your assessment, there is no fee. Therefore, there is no financial risk for homeowners seeking to appeal their property taxes.


Appealing property taxes can be a complex and time-consuming process, but it can also lead to significant savings for homeowners. By understanding the assessment process and following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can navigate the appeal process with confidence. Remember to consult with a local attorney who specializes in property tax appeals to ensure that you comply with the specific laws and regulations in your jurisdiction. Don’t let high property taxes burden you – take action and appeal your property taxes today!

To watch the original video on how to appeal property taxes, visit LawFull YouTube Channel.

Note: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Consult with a qualified attorney for personalized guidance regarding your specific situation.

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