Don't Forget To Look at Your Property Taxes

Don't Forget To Look at Your Property Taxes

Spring has arrived and with it, property taxes have too.  As a resident of Cook County, you probably know that the first installment of property taxes was due on March 1.  As always, it’s due the first business day in March. State law dictates that the installment is to be 55% of the prior year’s total (unless it was modified for an adjustment, in which case you would’ve received an assessment certificate of error last year).

If you have not made your payment yet, you should contact Cook County Treasurer’s Office at (312) 443–7550 to determine next steps. While on the subject of property taxes, it’s a great time to see if you are eligible for any tax exemptions. For example, if you qualify for the homeowner exemption and do not already have this exemption on your home, it’s a great way to reduce your future tax bill, with an exceptionally easy process.  Simply locate the application on, complete the short application, and provide a copy of a recent tax bill as well as your Illinois driver’s license (or other valid ID) along with an appropriate form of residency.  Since original signatures are required, you can either mail or drop-off your application (and the few required documents) to one of the four locations of the assessor’s office.

 Some other exemptions you may want to look into include the Senior Citizen Exemption, which includes a similar, easy process.  In fact, it’s on the same form used to request a Homeowner Exemption. If you or your spouse were born 1952 or earlier, this is another great savings opportunity.  Like the Homestead Exemption, the property in question must be your principal residence.  Seniors have additional benefits available to them, such as, the ability to potentially defer tax payments.  Seniors can also apply for a Property Tax Freeze Exemption. When granted, it’s a great way to ensure your equalized assessed value remains fixed, which offers the benefit of a more predictable tax bill.  

Another possible property tax exemption is the Long Time Occupant Homeowner Exemption. There are household income restrictions which make this a more exclusive benefit, but be sure to check the Cook County Assessor site to see if you qualify for this savings opportunity.

If you’ve been making home improvements that you believe could have impacted your home’s value, don’t forget to check out the Home Improvement Exemption which allows you to increase the value of your home with up to $75,000 worth of improvements without increasing your tax value for at least four years. Of course, the office does check for building permit(s), as applicable, and there are some exclusions such as repair or replacement of roof materials, among other “upkeep “improvements, though you may be surprised by the options and ability to recoup property tax savings by investigating this exemption further.

If you’ve served your country in the military, it’s time to reap the savings rewards.  Veterans should be sure to check eligibility such as the “Returning Veterans Exemption” or the “Disabled Veterans Homeowner Exemption,” which offers additional savings.


Regardless of veteran status, if you are disabled, be sure to check out the “Disabled Persons Exemption,” which is also available, and can reduce your equalized assessed value by $2000, which, in turn reduces your total tax owed.  

Also, while not commonly thought of, if the property characteristics of your home are reflected incorrectly on the assessor’s site, it could be inflating your assessed valuation, so be sure to check out the appeal form on the assessor’s site, or you can email Best Financial Group at, or call 847-297-6264.  The appeal form is a little more complicated than the others, but is an option to appeal property data.  If you’d like assistance appealing property value in a more comprehensive manner, feel free to check out, for additional options to reduce your property tax bill. Deadlines vary by township, so acting quickly will be in your best interest, however, in many cases, it is possible to file Cook County property tax appeals year-round.

With a 93% success rate in reducing taxes, Best Financial Group is a great option to get the most out of the property tax appeal process. Your property tax savings awaits…

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