How to Present a Case Based on Lack of Uniformity
Are there properties in your neighborhood with similar characteristics that have a lower assessment?
Residential property owners do not need an attorney to appeal their assessments and may represent themselves. To assist you, we offer the following suggestions:
You can support your complaint by submitting evidence of properties with similar characteristics to yours that have lower assessments. Similar properties must be:
- Preferably on your own block; may also be a block or two away, must be within your neighborhood.
- Similar to yours in size, type of construction, age, construction materials, and general condition. For example, if your property class is a 2-03 (small ranch house or bungalow),
your comparables should be 2-03’s.
You should have 3 to 5 similar properties for evidence. Your documentation of lack of uniformity should be presented in the following manner:
- Bring or mail the addresses, Permanent Index Numbers, the assessed values and photos of these properties, as well as yours, to your hearing at the Board of Review.
- You may obtain the Permanent Index Numbers for the addresses of your comparables from the Cook County Assessor's Office (County Building, 118 N. Clark Street, Room 320, Chicago, (312) 603-7550 or if you live in the suburbs, from your local Township Assessor. You may also use the Assessor’s website at www.cookcountyassessor.com.
- Once you have the Permanent Index Numbers of the properties similar to your own, you can look up their assessed values. You may do this by using the Assessor's web site www.cookcountyassessor.com.
- Photos of the front of your property are required. Photos of comparable properties are very helpful to your case. Since it would be impossible for the board’s decision-makers to visit each appealed property, these pictures can help prove your case. See B.O.R. Rule #17
- Information from the Assessor’s website may be printed out and attached to your evidence or you may staple or glue the picture(s) to the “Appeal Based on Lack of Uniformity” form or to a standard 8-1/2” x 11” sheet of paper. Beneath the picture(s) you should write the address, Permanent Index Numbers and assessed value of property shown. Show the land and improvement breakdown as well as the total. Remember to include all of the above for your property as well.
If lack of uniformity does exist between your property and similar properties, you will have a much better chance at a reduction from the Board of Review if you present your case in a well documented and orderly manner. If you need help finding comparables, our staff can assist you.
Remember, however, that the Board is required by law to take into account what properties in your neighborhood (including your own property) have been selling for in making a final decision on what your assessment should be.
If you have any questions on how to appeal your assessment, please do not hesitate to contact us at our main office, or one of our suburban branch office locations. We are eager to serve you.