Board Of Review Official Rules
These rules are published by the Board of Review of Cook County for the information and guidance of persons doing business with, and for the orderly dispatch of, business before the Board. 35 ILCS 200/ 6-50, 9-5 (formerly III. Rev. Stat., Chap. 120, para. 494, Sec. 13). They shall govern all appeals filed before the Board on, or after, the effective date hereof, August 1, 2017. Taxpayer assistance will be provided by Board personnel during normal business hours.
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SPECIAL INFORMATION FOR INDIVIDUALS REPRESENTING THEMSELVES
While these rules govern all appeals filed before the Board, many rules have no application to certain types of property or certain factual situations. Most appeals filed by individuals who are not represented by attorneys involve single family dwellings or properties containing six (6) apartments or less. Additional information on how to proceed in such appeals are set forth in the Board’s 2017 pamphlet, “Welcome to the Board of Review”, and individual taxpayers are urged to read and follow the procedures suggested there.
Rules Regarding Filing an Assessed Valuation Appeal
Individual taxpayers may retain an attorney or represent themselves before the Board. Other taxpayers, including but not limited to entities such as corporations, LLCs, condominium associations and the like, must be represented by an attorney. A person who is not an attorney may not represent a taxpayer before the Board.
All attorneys shall file an Attorney Authorization Form and the filing of the Attorney Authorization Form shall constitute a certification that the attorney has been specifically authorized to file the complaint by the taxpayer, and is the only attorney so authorized. Only the Board's original Attorney Authorization Form may be submitted. The Form may not be altered in any way from its original format, language, or in any other manner.
Failure to follow any rule may, in and of itself be grounds for the denial of any relief. "Welcome to the Board" Grounds for Appeal.
Each form required by these rules shall contain all applicable information requested and be completed in its entirety.
Complaints must be filed on the official complaint form prescribed and adopted by the Board pursuant to 35 ILCS 200/16-105 (formerly Ill. Rev. Stat., Chap. 120, para. 595, Sec. 114), as the official complaint forms for complaints on real estate assessments or filed through the Board’s online system. All sections on the form must be completed. No other copy or reproduction of this complaint form will be valid. FACSIMILE FILING OF THE COMPLAINT FORM IS NOT PERMITTED.
The official complaint form must be filed in duplicate, unless filed online.
A complaint must be filed on or before, the date established by the Board as the official closing date for the township in which the property is located. The Board will post in its office and publish the opening and closing dates for filing for each of the 38 townships in Cook County, as required by law. No complaint will be accepted after the close of a township’s official filing period has closed.
All complaints must be filed in the office of the Board of Review, County Building, Room 601, 118 N. Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois 60602, or complaints can be filed online from the Board's website, but the Board will not accept responsibility for complaints forwarded by mail. The date of a U.S. Postal Service postmark will be considered the date of filing for a complaint received by the Board.
A separate complaint form must be filed for each property in which a taxpayer desires to appeal. If the particular property in question consists of two or more Permanent Index Numbers, then all related parcel numbers may be listed on one complaint form.
If more than one complaint is filed on the same Permanent Index Number, the first complaint filed will be considered by the Board as controlling. All subsequent complaints will be considered to be null and void. In the event that more than one attorney files a complaint on the same permanent index number(s), all attorneys so filing shall be notified by the Board and the Board will request and review the Attorney Authorization Form required by the Board for attorney filings.
The Board may continue hearings by public announcement. All persons interested in the hearings shall take notice of, and be bound by, such public announcement.
Hearings will be held at the times and dates set by the Board. The Board will notify the taxpayer or his/her attorney of the time and date of the hearing. The taxpayer or his/her attorney may request an oral argument. The Board, in its discretion, may limit the time for an oral argument.
The taxpayer or attorney shall be prepared for the hearing at the time and date specified in the hearing notice. Except when good cause is shown, no continuance of the hearing or request to extend the time for filing documents will be granted. Failure of a taxpayer or an attorney to appear on the date and at the time specified in the notice of hearing shall constitute a waiver of the right of an oral argument. Where the date for hearing or filing of documents has been extended, failure of the taxpayer or attorney to appear on the date and time to which the hearing has been re-set or to file the documents within the period of extension, as the case may be, the Board will make its decision considering the file on the extended date and the authority of the Board.
Rules Regarding Evidence in Support of an Assessed Valuation Appeal
Documents must be filed no later than the time period set by the Board following the closing of the Township for both desk review and hearing files. The Board, at its sole discretion, may order an additional hearing.
For hard copy submissions, on or before the deadline set for filing support documents on any complaint, the taxpayer or attorney representing the taxpayer shall file with the Board the following:
1. When an appeal has been filed before the Assessor for the same tax year, copies of all documents that were submitted to the Assessor (Not applicable for class 2 residential complaints.); and
2. Such other documents that are required by these rules, and all other documents the taxpayer or attorney believes are pertinent to establish the complaint.
Except for the log sheet, summary sheet, and any appraisal and index thereof, all documents shall be filed in the order in which they appear on the log sheet.
For submission of paper supporting documents, all supporting documents shall be bound at the top with a secure but removable fastener.
For submission of hard copy appraisals, the appraisal index shall be firmly attached to the cover of the appraisal and the hard copy of the appraisal must be unbound, but secured with a removable fastener.
All complaints, summary sheets and logs must be signed by the taxpayer, or, if he/she is represented by an attorney, they may be signed by the attorney. The signature on each of these documents constitutes a representation that the facts appearing thereon are true and correct.
All affidavits filed before the Board shall be signed by a person having knowledge of the facts, provided: that an affidavit filed on behalf of a corporation where one person does not have knowledge of all the facts may be filed by a duly qualified representative of the corporation based upon affiant’s inquiry of, and facts ascertained from, those representatives of the corporation
having knowledge of the facts.
The taxpayer or attorney shall submit a recent original and clear photograph of the front of the subject property. Where an appeal is based in whole or in part upon “uniformity” or “comparability”, the Board strongly recommends it be furnished with a recent and clear photograph of the front of each property claimed to be comparable and each comparable property identified by its corresponding permanent index number.
A taxpayer shall disclose the purchase price of the property and the date of purchase if it took place on or after January 1, 2014, and shall file with the Board appropriate relevant sales documents. Both the seller’s and the buyer’s identity must be revealed, as well as any other relationship between them (other than seller and buyer) including, but not limited to, those existing by blood, marriage, corporate parent-subsidiary companies, or by virtue of ownership of non-publicly held stock and whether the transaction was arms length. When sales documents reflect a market value substantially above or below the Assessor’s market value, taxpayers shall provide the Board with an affidavit from a party, having knowledge of the facts, stating a description of the events leading up to the sale, including prior purchase proposals, cash amounts offered, length of time on the market, and the reasons for the sale.
Appraisals submitted by taxpayers or attorneys shall include an original photograph of the front of the property and the permanent index number of the subject and each property used in the appraiser’s analysis.
Where the property in connection with which an appeal is filed is leased or is available for lease, in whole or in part, the taxpayer or attorney shall file with the Board a copy of Schedule E of the taxpayer’s 1040 IRS form for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016. If relief is being sought on the grounds of “vacancy” during 2017, include a copy of taxpayer’s 1040 IRS form for the year 2017, or, if a hearing is held prior to the filing thereof, a copy of the latest income and expense statement must be filed. If an Income Tax form for any of these years has not been filed or the Income Tax form(s) filed is combined for two or more properties, the taxpayer must file an affidavit* stating that the return has not been filed or such combination appears within the return and attach thereto an income and expense statement relating to the property which is the subject of the appeal. The income and expense statement shall contain the same information required in Schedule E and must be signed by the affiant. For purposes of these rules, a property is leased whenever a landlord and tenant relationship exists by reason of a written or oral agreement or by operation of law.
Where the entire property is covered under one (1) lease, a copy thereof shall be furnished.
Where multiple leases are in place, the Board will consider lease summaries, audited financial statements, rent rolls with totals and representative samples of leases submitted by the taxpayer, including the square footage of units, total number of units, and rental rate; and any such document requested by the Board must be filed.
Except for apartment buildings with more than 12 units, the Board shall be furnished with an affidavit* setting forth any relationship (other than landlord and tenant) between the parties to any lease including, but not limited to, those existing by blood, marriage, corporate parent-subsidiary companies, or by virtue of ownership of non-publicly held stock.
If relief is being sought on the grounds of “vacancy”, the taxpayer shall file:
- A Vacancy-Occupancy Affidavit; (Occupancy shall include all space actually occupied or for which rent is being paid or is payable, even though the space may actually be vacant);
- Dated photographs of the interior vacant space and/or units; and
- An affidavit setting forth the duration of, and reason for the vacancy, the attempts made to lease the vacant space with documents such as copies of listings and advertisements utilized in such efforts attached. If no such effort was made, the affidavit must set forth the reason no attempt to rent such space was made.
- Also see Rule 21.
In the event a reduction is sought due to the demolition of a building, the taxpayer or attorney shall file with the Board:
- a. A copy of the demolition permit;
- b. Evidence of payment for demolition; and
- c. An original and clear photograph of the subject property before and after demolition, with the date the after demolition photograph was taken appearing conspicuously thereon.
An argument that a portion of a property should be treated as excess-vacant land shall be supported by a plat of survey detailing the dimensions and locations of all buildings, parking areas, or other improvements; any unimproved areas or storage used, and the product or person flow across the property. The actual use of the property shall be specified. A recent original and clear photograph of the land claimed to be excess shall be filed with the Board.
If the property is held in a land trust and a schedule of all the beneficial owners of the trust includes any legal entity other than an individual, the taxpayer or his/her attorney must submit the schedule of all beneficial owners, signed by the trustee.
The same standards and requirements as set forth in these rules with respect to overvaluation complaints apply to any undervaluation complaints in addition to any others set forth in the Board’s 2017 Undervaluation (underassessment) Rules. The burden of proof that a property is undervalued rests with the taxpayer-complainant who must establish by competent evidence that such property is underassessed.
Taxpayers dissatisfied with a decision of the Board may request a review of their case. Because the review process is not to be employed as a substitute for the otherwise timely submission of documents required by the Board, the submission of an entire set of documents in the first instance on review will be considered, in the discretion of the Board, only upon a showing of good cause or exigent circumstances. Review requests should not simply argue with the Board capitalization rates, expense ratios, and rulings of law without further detailed explanation and analysis. Nor should requests simply reiterate or resubmit previously advanced arguments and materials without additional supporting evidence or argument to justify reconsideration.
Review requests in writing must be delivered or faxed to Board. Review requests online or in writing must be:
- a. filed timely, within 3 days of the date of the letter from the Board informing the appellant of the Board's decision;
- b. identify the assessment, township and complaint number and the relevant PIN numbers of the case; and
- c. must state specific grounds for the review request.
The grounds for a review request are:
- a. newly discovered, obtained or received evidence;
- b. changes in the law;
- c. an error in the Board’s previous application of existing law;
- d. evidence provided in response to a request of the Board made at the hearing or indicated in the case file, notes or decision of the Board;
- e. correction of a mathematical or calculation error;
- f. submission of a relevant PTAB stipulation or tax objection order;
- g. presentation of other decisions by the Board on similar properties;
- h. relevant evidence responding to issues raised by a divided vote decision of the Board;
- i. specific evidence and argument related to the method of analysis employed;
- k. an intervening sale, demolition, destruction or change of use of the property;
- l. consideration of an Assessor’s Recommendation or Certificate of Error;
- m. special circumstances identified and explained in the review request.