What Taxpayers Can Do About Higher Chicago Industrial Property Tax Assessments

By: Antonio Senagore

Chicago industrial real estate owners could be facing 2015 property tax bill increases.  And the deadlines to take action are coming up soon.

Why could 2015 Chicago industrial property tax bills increase?  There are two reasons.

First, the Cook County Assessor is reassessing the city of Chicago in 2015.  For the first time since 2012, all property in Chicago is being revalued for property tax purposes.  Despite the lackluster real estate market, the Assessor has recognized that 2015 industrial property values are higher than 2012 values.  For instance, consider the reassessment of Lake Township, which includes many industrial neighborhoods in southwest Chicago.  The 2015 Proposed Assessed Value of some Class 5 industrial real estate in Lake Township increased by more than 30% from last year.

Moreover, property tax rates are rising.  Property tax revenue funds local government.  Schools, public safety, and libraries need revenue to operate.  Additionally, the Illinois Supreme Court recently ruled that government pension benefits shall not be diminished.  To meet its obligations, local government needs more property tax revenue than ever.

How can industrial property taxpayers make sure their assessed values are correct?  Chicago property taxpayers can appeal their 2015 values to the Cook County Assessor and the Cook County Board of Review.

Industrial property owners may already have evidence of their real estate value.  For example, a recent sale could be evidence of market value.  Yet industrial properties regularly include personal property and real estate assets.  Under Illinois law, personal property cannot be assessed.  Using special techniques, a property tax advocate could further reduce property taxes by isolating the value of the industrial real estate.

Industrial property owners can double check their property tax liability by appealing their assessments.  But they must act soon.  Assessment appeals are encouraged, but the deadlines are approaching.