By James P. Regan

As published by, May 2003

Recently, the Cook County Board of Commissioners amended the County’s Classification Ordinance to provide relief to owners of multi-family residential buildings. Prior to the amendment of the Classification Ordinance, Apartment buildings with seven or more units were assessed at 33% of market value, while residential condominiums and coops were assessed at 16% of value.

That disparity has encouraged the conversion of rental buildings to condominium usage while discouraging development of new apartment buildings. Between 1999 and 2000, the City of Chicago alone experienced a 37% reduction in apartment parcels. The amended Ordinance seeks to stem the loss of apartment parcels by reducing the assessment level for apartment buildings over the next two years.

As of the effective date of the amended Ordinance, January 1, 2003, the assessment levels for multi-family rental buildings will go from 33% of market value to 30%, and then down to 26% beginning January 2004