Amari & Locallo e-letter
July 2013
Amari & Locallo
Chicago Office
734 N. Wells Street
Chicago, IL 60654
Amari & Locallo
Bloomingdale Office
236 W. Lake Street, Suite 100
Bloomingdale, IL 60108
Welcome to our A & L e-letter for this month,


As you are most certainly aware, the 2012 second installment Cook County real estate tax bill is due August 1, 2013. It was higher than you expected, especially if you live in the City of Chicago, and here's why.


A reassessment...

The City of Chicago was reassessed for 2012 and because market values have increased since the last reassessment in 2009, your assessed value may have increased too.  Because properties in Cook County, including the City of Chicago, are subject to the State of Illinois imposed multiplier, a.k.a. the equalizer, and because your local governments have increased the amount of money they spend, your 2012 real estate tax bill sored, in most instances.


A multiplier...

When your assessed value is finalized each year it is subject to the State of Illinois multiplier.  By law the total assessed value for all properties in Cook County, must equal 1/3 of the total market value of all properties in Cook County, as determined by the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR).


For 2012, the IDOR determined that Cook County's total assessments had to be multiplied by 2.8056 to make all assessments in Cook County equal to 1/3 of its market value.   This brings Cook County into compliance with the state mandated law to achieve equity with all other properties in Illinois.   Cook County begins with different assessment levels for its properties (residences @ 10%, Commercial & Industrial @ 25%).  Most other counties in Illinois initially assess all properties at 33.33% of market value resulting in little or no equalizer. 


A tax rate...

Your governing boards of each taxing district develop with their budgets and determine how much of their revenues will come from various sources including (and mostly) property tax.  For example, the City of Chicago increased its local rate by 17% over the 2011 local tax rate.  Other municipalities and taxing districts outside the city were generally increased in varying amounts.


Changes in the ordinance applying a homeowner's exemption...

Some residences showed little or no increase in their assessments but paid additional real estate tax.  This could be attributed to the phasing out of a special ordinance that gave homeowner's a larger exemption during past years when market values were dropping.  The homeowner's exemption has now returned to its normal allotment.


A solution...

Every year you are given the opportunity to appeal your proposed assessment.  The multiplier is applied to all properties equally, so it is imperative to keep your individual assessment as low as possible to keep your taxes as low as possible.   Keep an eye on your local government's spending and should there be an opportunity to voice your opinion on matters of budget, get involved.


Important reminders for residential homeowners in Cook County...

It is important to remind everyone to check on their exemptions - homeowner and senior citizen.   If you qualify for either exemption it will provide additional relief.   In the 'tax calculator' section of the tax bill, you are able to see if additional reductions were granted for either exemption.   If you did not receive an exemption that you were entitled to, visit the Assessor's office at 118 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL on the 3rd floor and request an adjusted tax bill to reflect the exemption.


A caution should be noted that you can only have one official site of residence and one home owner's exemption.  If you own two or more homes you should check and see if a home owner's exemption was misapplied to a second residence.  Corrections can be made at the Treasurer's and Assessor's offices.


More information about the exemptions in Cook County can be found at 

About Our Law Firm 
The concentration of the Law Offices of Amari & Locallo, with offices in Chicago/Cook County and Bloomingdale/DuPage County, is representing commercial, industrial and multi-unit residential property owners throughout the State of Illinois.  As part of our comprehensive focus on client services, Amari & Locallo also maintains a national practice in the ad valorem tax field and related real estate areas.  Our personnel have experience as county tax assessors, corporate tax managers, trial lawyers and real estate transaction attorneys, which contribute a unique insight into the negotiation and process of appealing real estate taxes. 


Our comprehensive knowledge of real estate tax laws 

and procedures enables us to effectively represent the interests of our clients throughout the State of Illinois

as well as throughout the United States.

For more information, please visit our website: