The Commissioners of the Cook County Board of Review closed the Board of Review 2012 complaint session, which included the reassessment of all real estate in the city of Chicago. During this most recent session, the Board of Review evaluated appeals regarding more than 422,000 parcels of properties, which is the second largest volume of work in its appeal history. The Board of Review completed its analysis of this large number of parcels despite being underfunded during the current budget cycle including a reduction in headcount. Nevertheless, by implementing practice changes, the Board of Review was able to use less overtime hours than projected.
Because of the Board’s timely closing, the Cook County property tax system is on track to meet its statutory deadline for mailing second installment property tax bills on June 30 with a July 31 payment date for the second year in row, and only the second time in 35 years. Issuing tax bills on time can save residents of Cook County an estimated $3 Million a month, as late tax bills force schools, libraries and other essential government services to borrow money to bridge the funding gap caused by the delay in the collection of tax revenues.
In order to meet the challenges presented as workloads increase and budgetary resources contract, the Board of Review Commissioners improved management systems and took advantage of new technology and cooperation among Cook County’s Property Tax agencies. The Board of Review announced the following improvements in the 2012 session, which made the Board more efficient. The Board of Review:
- Improved online filing system, which increased the number of filings online to over 75%, reducing paper and workflow steps
- Redesigned the hearing procedure ,which allowed hearings to be completed faster and more efficient through better scheduling processes.
- Worked with the Cook County Bureau of Technology to create an intranet system, which renumbered appeals for easier storage and access.
- Worked with all offices involved in the taxing system to better communicate the status of each office’s role and how they could help each other through regularly scheduled meetings during this last session.
“The various agencies involved in the Cook County Property tax process have worked hand-in-hand to ensure that property tax bills continue to be issued timely and without compromise to each taxpayer’s right to pay no more than their fair share of property taxes. I am proud of the role each Commissioner and our employees have played, under heavy volume and trying budgetary circumstances, to ensure that our process is one that works for the taxpayers of Cook County,” said Commissioner Larry Rogers, Jr. “The Board of Review Commissioners have been focused on improving services through better management, use of technology and making our staff the best it can be,” said Commissioner Michael Cabonargi. “The turnaround at the Board in such a short time period is a testament to the staff’s and Commissioners’ dedication and hard work.”
“We are all very pleased with the hard work of our staff and our management team,” said Commissioner Dan Patlak. “The Board is working better than ever and we look forward to additional improvements in our operations over the next several years that will make the appeal process easier and more efficient for taxpayers,” concluded Patlak.
In completing the recent appeals session, the Cook County Board of Review transmitted and certified the final results of their review to the Assessor’s office on April 19, 2013. Since that time the Assessor’s office has forwarded the 2012 assessment roll to the Illinois Department of Revenue for calculation of the Multiplier. Thereafter, the Assessor will certify the final assessment record and send the final results to the Clerk’s office, which then will calculate and apply tax rates. The Clerk will send these calculations to the Treasurer’s Office who will then print the 2nd installment of the tax bills and mail them to property owners in Cook County. Decisions by the Board of Review issued during its recently concluded session to reduce the assessed value of a property should be reflected on that property’s 2nd installment tax bill mailed this July. In addition, all home owner exemptions processed by the Assessor’s office should be reflected on the 2nd installment bill.
First installment property tax bills are due the first business day in March of each year and are calculated based on 55% of the previous year’s total tax bill.
The Cook County Board of Review is a quasi-judicial independent agency responsible for adjudicating assessment appeals for all property in Cook County. The Board consists of three Commissioners elected in three distinct districts in Cook County. In the last ten years, the Board has seen a 200% increase in appeals filed without a substantial increase in technology and a decrease in funding. Please contact the Board of Review at (312) 603-5542 with any questions. For more information, please go to www.CookCountyBoardofReview.com.