Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about the Cook County Board of Review.
Question: 
What is the difference between the Board of Review and the Cook County Assessor’s Office?
Answer: 

The Board of Review is a separate, quasi-judicial agency independent of the Assessor.  The Cook County Assessor sets the taxable value on all of the more than 1.8 million parcels of real estate located in Cook County.   When each township reassessment is completed by the Assessor, property owners may appeal the assessment set by the Assessor at the Board.   The Board decision sets the final county valuation on the property for that tax year.

Question: 
How do I appeal my property taxes?
Answer: 

There are several ways to file an appeal with the Board of Review.  The easiest is to file online. Go the front page of the website, click “file an appeal online” and follow the simple instructions.  You can pre-register your complaint if your township has not opened yet however if your township has closed for appeals this year, you must wait until next year.  You can also file an appeal in person at the Board of Review or at a satellite office.  Please refer to the website for addresses and operating hours.  The third way to file an appeal is to attend an “outreach seminar” sponsored by the Commissioners.  These seminars are held in neighborhoods and communities and bring the services of the Board of Review to property owners.  Staff is always present to answer any questions and give assistance in filing an appeal.   For additional information, please see “Welcome to the Board” or call 312-603-5542 and speak to a Board of Review staff member.

Question: 
When can I file an appeal?
Answer: 

Property owners can file an appeal when the Board of Review opens their township for appeal each year. Property owners can also pre-register through the online appeals portal . The Board of Review opens townships for appeals after the Assessor has assessed each property in the township.   Townships have particular filing dates which vary annually. Unfortunately, they are not set in advance. Please check the Board of Review website for opening dates and information.  Again if your township has not opened, a property owner can pre-register a complaint online.  If a township has closed for appeal, property owners must wait until the next assessment year to file an appeal.

Question: 
What does “opening and closing townships” mean?
Answer: 

It is the officially published filing period for all residents of a township.  It is the time in which you can file your appeal with our office.  All townships are opened a minimum of 30 days.

Question: 
What do I bring to file my appeal?
Answer: 

Any evidence you would like the Board to consider, depending upon the type of property being appealed.

• Click here for Residential 
• Click here for Commercial 
• Click here for Industrial 

Question: 
Can I file an appeal even if I have received a reduction with the Assessor’s office?
Answer: 

Yes. The Board is not bound by the final determination of the Assessor. You are at no disadvantage if the Assessor has granted or denied a request to reduce the assessment. 

Question: 
Can I file an appeal for a prior year?
Answer: 

No. The Board’s jurisdiction is limited by law to the current year.

Question: 
Why did my assessment go up?
Answer: 

Every property in Cook County must be reassessed every three years. In a triennial assessment year, your assessment is updated to reflect changes in value over the past three years.  In other years, the assessment may have changed due to an increase in occupancy, new construction or other factors as determined by the Cook County Assessor.

Question: 
Will I receive a refund if I get a reduction with your office?
Answer: 

An assessment reduction granted by the BOR may result in a tax bill lower than it otherwise would be without the reduction.  However, many factors other than your level of assessment including exemptions, local tax levies & tax rates, determine the amount of your tax bill.

Question: 
Should I wait to pay my taxes until I receive a decision from the Board of Review?
Answer: 

No. The first installment is, by law, 55% of the previous year’s total bill and is always due on receipt, with a March 1 due date. The second installment bill cannot be calculated until the Board of Review has concluded its review of every appeal for all 38 townships of Cook County for that particular tax year. The second installment tax bill will not be issued until after your decision from the Board of Review has been received.

Question: 
I lost my tax bill. How much are my taxes? Who can I talk to?
Answer: 

You may obtain a duplicate tax bill from the Cook County Treasurer.www.cookcountytreasurer.com. You can also find your property tax information online at the County’s property tax portal, http://cookcountypropertyinfo.com

Question: 
What will happen when I come in for a hearing?
Answer: 

A Board of Review staff assistant will help you organize your file and ask questions or make suggestions to facilitate your appeal process. If you wish, you may then request an oral hearing to present your case. 
• Click here for Residential 
• Click here for Commercial 
• Click here for Industrial 

Question: 
What happens if I cannot attend my hearing?
Answer: 

Taxpayers who appeal at the Board of Review have a right to a hearing; however, if the taxpayer has nothing additional to add to their appeal, they do not need a hearing and may waive their right to that hearing

Taxpayers will not be penalized for waiving their right to a hearing.  Further, Board of Review analysts do the same review for files that receive hearings as those that do not receive hearings. Typically, taxpayers attend hearings if their appeal contains unique elements particular to their property that cannot be conveyed by written submission.  If you choose to attend the hearing, you must bring all of the required supplemental documents with you to the hearing. 

This may include a photograph of your property's exterior and the photographs and property identification numbers of other property's you wish to compare to your property.  Additional evidence could include affidavits or other documentation such as an appraisal or flood/fire report.  Taxpayers who choose to supplement their complaint with evidence are encouraged to submit a signed statement setting forth the reasons why they believe their property is over- assessed.  Please refer to Rule14 of the Official Rules of the Board of Review regarding timeliness of filing documents for appeal.  However, you may contact the Chief Clerk at 312-603-5586. 

Question: 
When can I submit my documents if I cannot make my hearing?
Answer: 

You can submit all evidence up to 5 days prior to your hearing through the online portal or through the clerk’s office. Call the Chief Clerk’s office at 312-603-5586 for more information.

Question: 
What do I bring for my hearing?
Answer: 

• Click here for Residential 
• Click here for Commercial 
• Click here for Industrial 
Bring any and all supporting documentation for your appeal. 

Question: 
Can I reschedule my hearing?
Answer: 

See Rule 13.

Question: 
Do I need an attorney?
Answer: 

If you are appealing your own condominium, small apartment, mixed-use building or family business property (if it is held in your name), you may represent yourself.  You may hire an attorney to represent you if you choose.  Properties held by corporations (LLC, LLP and any other corporate entities) must be represented by counsel (B.O.R. Rule 1).

Question: 
Do I need a picture?
Answer: 

Yes. They are required for the property being appealed (Rule 18) and are strongly encouraged for comparable properties. The date the picture was taken should be clearly marked on the reverse side.

Question: 
I am the Condominium Association President. Can I file on behalf of the Association?
Answer: 

No. Under the Illinois Condominium Property Act and per Board of Review procedure (Rule 1), the Association, through its board must obtain an attorney to represent the entire building. Otherwise, individual unit owners may file their own, individually signed appeal forms. As president, in either situation, you or any other board or association members may assist in the compilation of data and evidence for any appeals filed before the Board of Review.

Question: 
Is it worthwhile to appeal?
Answer: 

At the Board of Review filing is free and the staff will help you with any aspect of your appeal. The potential for a reduction in your property taxes is worth a small investment of time. 

Question: 
What are the chances that my appeal will be successful?
Answer: 

Board of Review statistics have been kept for the last 23 years to track the chances that an individual has for a successful appeal. Click here to see chart. 

Question: 
How do I find comparable properties?
Answer: 

You can find comparable properties through CookViewer, the County’s GIS system – on the County’s property tax portal, http://cookcountypropertyinfo.com.   Search for the property you want to find comparable properties for by P.I.N or address and clicking the button under the property’s picture will take you to CookViewer.   

Question: 
What is pre-registering? What information do I need to pre-register?
Answer: 

Pre-registering ensures that a homeowner’s appeal will be on time. Once pre-registration opens for the year, you can pre-register before your township opens for its 30 day appeal window. You can pre-register through the Board’s online appeals page. You can also call the Board to pre-register at (312) 603-5542. The required information is your township, name, address of property and P.I.N. number.  

Question: 
What’s a P.I.N. and how do I find it?
Answer: 

Your P.I.N. is the Permanent Index Number that identifies your property from the 1.8 million other properties in Cook County. It is a 14-digit number that looks like this: 00-00-000-000-0000. Your P.I.N. is on any correspondence the Assessor or Treasurer sends to you.  You can also look up your PIN number by your address on the Property Tax Portal at www.cookcountypropertyinfo.com  or the Assessor’s Web Site at www.cookcountyassessor.com

Question: 
Are there any additional venues to appeal my assessment?
Answer: 

After first appealing to the Board of Review, you may choose to appeal further to the Cook County Circuit Court or the Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB)