In mid-April, Oak Park property owners received reassessment notices from the Cook County Assessor’s Office reflecting the assessor’s estimate of the value of their properties as of Jan. 1, 2023. The median assessed value for Oak Park homes increased by 28%.

Will your taxes increase by 28%?

No. Property taxes are primarily driven by the tax levies of local governments, and state law limits tax levy increases to around 5% in most cases. But as explained later in this article, reassessment can cause the taxes on some properties to go up by more than the increase in tax levies.

Can you appeal the Cook County Assessor’s proposed assessed value?

Yes. Taxpayers can appeal their new assessed values with the county assessor’s office through May 15. In addition, the Cook County Board of Review will be accepting appeals from Oak Park property owners later this year.

The Oak Park Township Assessor’s Office can help property owners prepare and file appeals. During the appeal period, Oak Park property owners seeking help with appeals should call the Township at 708-383-8005 to set up an appointment.

What is an assessment appeal, and what is the basis for filing one?

Assessment appeals seek to reduce a property’s assessed valuation by claiming that its assessment is unfair or inaccurate. There are three basic grounds for filing an appeal:

Lack of uniformity. Similar properties should be assessed similarly. To substantiate an appeal based on lack of uniformity, it is necessary to find properties comparable to yours that have lower assessed valuations. The township assessor’s office can help you find comparable properties quickly and easily.

Errors in property characteristics. Every residential property has a set of characteristics that determine its assessed value. Errors in characteristics can be appealed. The type of error most likely to result in an assessment reduction is one that overstates the interior square footage of your property.

Recent purchase or appraisal. If the property value set by the Cook County assessor is higher than a recent purchase price or recent appraisal for your property, an appeal may be successful.

When will the new assessed values impact property tax bills? The impact of the 2023 reassessment will not appear on tax bills until the summer or fall of 2024.

Why did Oak Park’s assessed values increase by so much since the last reassessment? The increases are partially due to the strengthening of the real estate market since the last reassessment three years ago. But they also reflect the county’s 2020 response to the COVID pandemic, which reduced the assessed values of many residential properties to below-market levels. The stronger market and the end of the COVID reductions are major factors leading to this year’s 28% assessment increase.

Interest rates have increased significantly. Shouldn’t my assessed value go down as a result?

During the pandemic, interest rates were reduced to record lows, which helped fuel an increase in property values in recent years. But interest rates began to increase in March of 2022, and have continued since then. Higher interest rates increase the cost of home ownership, and the higher housing costs have either slowed the growth in property values or caused values to decline. Even with increased interest rates, however, property values in 2023 are higher than they were in 2020. This is reflected in the increased assessed values for 2023.

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