SUBURBAN INDEPENDENT MOTEL
Over $460K in tax savings and refunds
An owner of three independent motels located in Cook County was not satisfied with his property tax reductions with his previous law firm. He regularly contested his taxes but felt that he was leaving money on the table. Then, he was faced with a no change decision and his taxes were scheduled to double. That is when the owner called Elliott & Associates to assist.
- Property Type: Suburban independent motel
- Savings: Over $460,000 in tax savings
- Location: South suburban Cook County, Illinois
- Lowered assessment about 40% below level obtained by prior law firm
- Obtained corrected tax bill – cut about in half from incorrect level (Certificate of Error)
- Over $460,000 in tax savings
Elliott & Associates partnered with the client in order to fully understand the hotelier’s current environment. Our approach went beyond the traditional income and expense analysis and also looked at the resulting valuation compared to the market on a per room basis.
By listening to the client, Elliott learned that:
- Revenues and NOI had declined steadily over the past five years
- 15% of the rooms were uninhabitable
- A large number of rooms were rented on a long-term basis at a substantial discount
- The client had a current appraisal that supported a much lower valuation.
It did not appear that these facts had previously been brought to the attention of the assessing officials in previous appeals.
In addition to including this information for the current year’s tax appeal, we reached out to senior officials in the Assessor’s office to discuss the prior year’s tax bill (scheduled to double) and asked them to rectify this problem by issuing a Certificate of Error and an adjusted tax bill so the client could pay reasonable and affordable taxes. We did our homework in advance and were prepared to address any concerns from the previous law firm’s appeal.
The Assessor issued a Certificate of Error reducing the doubled assessment so it was on par with the prior year. The Treasurer then issued an adjusted tax bill, which the client paid. The Certificate of Error has been confirmed by the Cook County Board of Review and needs to be approved by the Court. As this Certificate of Error has been approved by the Assessor and Board of Review, we expect approval by the Court in the near future.
We also contested the current year assessment and convinced the assessing officials to reduce it about 40% below the lowest assessment obtained by the prior firm.
So far, we have saved this client over $460,000 in taxes for this motel over a two-year period. Additional appeals are pending in Court for tax refunds.