Property Taxes Explained

HOW TO APPEAL YOUR TAXES

It is important that your assessed valuation be accurate and fair, as it does play a role in determining your share of those taxes.

In Cook County, your class 2 residential is assessed at 10 percent of its estimated property value. The estimated property value is determined by analyzing sales information of similar homes in your area. Class 2 properties include detached single family houses, town homes, condominiums, cooperatives, and multi-family residential buildings with no more than six dwelling units.

Local governments, such as municipalities and school districts, determine the overall amount of real estate taxes collected in your community.

REASONS FOR APPEALING YOUR TAXES

Your property was not valued uniformly. Uniformity requires that two or more properties in a neighborhood that are similar in size, type of construction, age and style have similar assessed values. You are welcome to do your own research but are not required to do so. Our office will assist you in researching comparable properties.

Inaccurately described property. The value of your property is partially dependent on your “property description”. An assessment that contains a major error in the property’s description such as an incorrect land or building measurement may affect property value. Please keep in mind that changing a minor property characteristic may not necessarily change the assessment.

You property is overvalued. If you have evidence that establishes your property’s market value is less than the estimate determined by the County assessor’s office, you are encouraged to submit supporting documentation. Acceptable documentation would include: a recent closing statement, sales contract or appraisal. The value of residential property may also be affected by recent occupancy of a newly constructed home, conditions that have caused the property to become vacant and not habitable, fire damage, demolition or vacancy due to renovation.

Be on the lookout

Every year the cook county assessor will open each township for appeals. In years that your property has been reassessed, you will receive a notice of proposed assessed valuation letter. This letter informs you that your township is now open.

You have 30 days…

To file an appeal with the county assessor’s office. Download, fill, and make any necessary corrections to the property description, and mail the appeal form to the assessor’s office. Or file a residential appeal online.

File your exemptions

You must file your exemption applications every year. Once you receive the exemptions (applied on the second installment tax bill), you will receive pre-filled forms from the County Assessor, or call the Berwyn Township Assessor for forms.

TAXPAYER EXEMPTIONS

The following money-saving exemptions are applied as a deduction on the second-installment of your bill.

Homeowner, property has to be occupied by its current or previous owner as a principal residence as of January 1st during the year for which you are applying and are responsible for the real estate taxes.

Senior citizen, if you are receiving this exemption, you automatically qualify for the homeowner exemption. You must be age 65 or older during the year for which you are applying. In addition, you must either own the property or have a lease or contract which makes you responsible for the real estate taxes. The property must be your principal residence.

Senior freeze, if you are receiving this exemption, you automatically qualify for the homeowner and Senior citizen exemptions. This exemption allows you to a freeze of the equalized assessed value (EAV) of the property from the year prior to application. Aside from previous requirements, you must also have a total gross household income which does not exceed the maximum eligibility amount (differs from year to year).

Disabled Person, this exemption provides you with an annual $2,000 reduction in the equalized assessed value (EAV) of the property. Aside from the requirements of the homeowner exemption, you must be disabled or become disabled during the assessment year.

Returning Veteran, Veterans returning from active duty in armed conflict are eligible to receive a $5,000 reduction in the equalized assessed value (EAV) of their property only for each taxable year in which they return.

Disabled Veterans, veterans with a service-connected disability as certified by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs are eligible for this annual exemption. A disability of at least 75% is eligible for a $5,000 exemption in the equalized assessed value (EAV). A disability of at least 50%, but less than 75%, is eligible for a $2,500 reduction in EAV.

Home improvement, this exemption allows you to increase the value of your home with improvements valued up to $75,000, without increasing your property taxes for at least four years. The exemption is automatically applied to a property when a building permit is obtained to complete work on the home.

You do not need a lawyer, representative or appraiser to file an appeal on the assessed valuation of your home.

SERVICES OFFERED BY YOUR TOWNSHIP ASSESSOR

The Berwyn Township Assessor’s office is available to assist you in many areas related to your property tax assessments.

The Assessor will help Township residents better understand the assessment process and take advantage of money- saving exemptions provided to all those who qualify.

You will receive help in completing exemption applications, filing property tax appeals, completing name-change requests for the County Treasurer’s office and many more services.

For more information or for any questions, you may reach Berwyn Township Assessor, David J. Avila, or a member of his staff at 708-788-6600.

Berwyn was last reassessed in 2014 and will be reassessed again in 2017. Please be on the lookout for the notices of reassessment sent by the Cook County Assessor.

Our office provides the following services and many more to all township residents:

  • Complete name and/or address changes and property location corrections.
  • Assist residents in analyzing their Assessed value to ensure their property is not overvalued or undervalued.
  • If formal appeal is warranted due to inaccuracies, we will complete all forms, and file them with the cook county assessor’s office.
  • If an appeal is denied by the cook county assessor’s office, we will help prepare and submit documentation for the appeal process through the cook county board of review, and the property tax appeals board.
  • Complete and file senior homestead exemption applications and senior assessment freeze exemption applications.
  • Assist new residents in applying for a homeowner exemption.
  • Assist taxpayers in applying for the disabled persons’ Homeowner exemption and the returning veterans’ exemption.
  • Provide assessment information, property ownership, sales data, and permanent index number inquiries to residents, realtors, banks, attorneys, and appraisers.

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