Chicago is being reassessed this year. Assessment increases for commercial taxpayers have gone through the roof. The Assessor started four months late but he wants to finish on time – in December. That means he will decide a record number of tax appeals in about half of the normal amount of time!
Also, the assessing officials are becoming tougher. They now require more and better documentation to even consider lowering your assessment. The bar for successful appeals has been raised.
But there is good news: You can get good relief in this environment. But we need your help to do so. Here’s what you can do to make it easier for us to get the best results for you.
- Get us documents in 7 days. We only have 30 days to file an appeal with all evidence, including appraisals. By the time we write you to request documents, a week has already passed. Many of our clients send us their evidence within days of the appeal deadline. That doesn’t give us enough time to do a good job. Please give us all documents within 7 days so we can do the best job for you.
- Give us all the documents we ask for. During the appeal process, the assessing officials ask for certain documents. If you don’t provide all of them, they may deny your appeal because of a lack of complete evidence. They have a huge caseload. They’re very busy and get quite frustrated if they aren’t given all documents that their rules require. When they’re faced with inadequate evidence, the easiest thing to do is deny your appeal. Don’t let that happen.
- Be legible and complete. We often receive documents that have been xeroxed to the point of being unreadable, have illegible handwriting or are incomplete. If the assessing officials can’t make sense of a document, it’s as if you submitted nothing. You probably won’t win your appeal.
- Make sure the documents are correct. The assessing officials are scrutinizing documents and comparing them to what you’ve submitted in prior years. They’re looking for inconsistencies. When documents appear to be misleading or incorrect, they aren’t considered and your appeal will probably be denied. Make sure the documents you provide are truthful, correct and complete – especially rent rolls, vacancy affidavits and profit-and-loss statements.
- Approve appraisals in 3 days. If we ask you for authorization to order an appraisal, it’s because we think one is necessary. We believe it’ll result in tax savings that are significantly more than the cost of the appraisal. We need to order them quickly to obtain them during the Assessor’s strict 30-day filing window. So, please authorize appraisal requests within 3 days.
The bottom line: Get your documents to us fast
The odds of you winning your tax appeal and reducing your property taxes are much higher if you provide us with correct, complete and legible documents within 7 days. And, the reverse is true, of course.
Please help us to help you by giving us all the documents we request within 7 days.
Our staff thanks you!!