The Cook County Assessor’s Office has announced that it will be accepting appeals of the assessed valuations of Oak Park properties between May 17 and June 16, 2021. Individuals looking for assistance in filing appeals should feel free to contact my office at 708-383-8005 to set up appointments during the appeal period.
All Oak Park properties were reassessed in 2020, and most of the values set in 2020 will remain unchanged until Oak Park’s next reassessment in 2023. Because the 2020 reassessment was such an important part of the tax process, many people believe that assessed values can only be appealed during a reassessment year. But since property values can change from year to year, assessed values can be appealed in any year, including 2021.
Although we expect to see fewer appeals in 2021 compared to 2020, there are some circumstances where taxpayers may want to appeal this year. One such situation arises when the county assessor sends notices of reassessment for properties that have had significant changes in the last year, such as the construction of a new building or an addition to an existing building. The 2021 appeal period also allows taxpayers to bring attention to changes in the value of their properties over the last year. Finally, taxpayers who missed the deadline for appealing their 2020 assessed values can contest their values for the 2021 tax year.
In most cases, those who are filing 2021 appeals because they missed the deadlines from prior years will not be able to do anything about their assessments from prior years. Indeed, since Cook County tax bills always arrive one year late, property owners should be aware that the money-saving effects of successful 2021 appeals will not appear on tax bills until the summer of calendar year 2022.
The biggest point of contact between most citizens and their government arises through the payment of taxes. Oak Park residents with concerns about the fairness of this important point of contact should know that Oak Park Township is available to help residents redress tax inequities.
Ali ElSaffar is the Oak Park Township Assessor.