FAQ


Why pay property taxes?

Homeowners pay property taxes to help fund governmental services, schools, and municipalities.


In Cook County, property taxes are assessed and collected through the Treasurer’s Office.

When are property taxes paid?

Property taxes are due twice a year, typically at the beginning of March and the beginning of August. Your property tax payment may be automatically paid by your mortgage servicer using funds from your monthly home loan payment that are deposited into your escrow account.


How does Cook County calculate property taxes?

Taxes are calculated based on the following formula:

Assessed Value  X  Equalization Factor  X  Tax Rate = Tax Liability

While the above formula is utilized to calculate your raw tax, various exemptions such as the homeowner, Senior Citizen, and Senior Freeze can significantly reduce your tax liability.

What is an Assessed Value (AV)?

The assessed value is used to determine the value of a property for tax purposes. For residential properties, the assessed value is 10% of the estimated fair market value.

How does the Assessor determine your Fair Market Value (FMV)?

Generally, the Assessor evaluates recent sales transactions of similar properties in your neighborhood. The Assessor relies on an algorithmic formula that makes necessary adjustments for property characteristics such as age, construction type, size and other relevant factors. Unfortunately, because of the large number of properties in Cook County, it is difficult for the Assessor to accurately value all properties.

What is the tax rate in Cook County?

The tax rate is a variable in the tax formula applied to your assessed value with the intent to produce the revenue required to meet your local government's budget.

What is the equalization factor?

The equalization factor is a constant of the tax formula applied by the Illinois Department of Revenue to ensure state-wide uniformity of property values.

What is an exemption?

An exemption is a relief the Assessor grants to qualifying homeowners and properties. Examples of potential exemptions include Senior Citizen, Homeowner, Disabled Veteran, and Disabled Person. For further details on qualifications visit the Assessor’s Office website.

What is a reassessment year?

State law requires properties in Cook County to be assessed once every three years 35 ILCS 200/9-220(b).
  • 2018 - Chicago
  • 2019 - Northern Suburbs
  • 2020 - Southern Suburbs

Where do I appeal my Cook County property tax assessment?

All property owners are given the opportunity to appeal their assessment annually to three separate bodies: The Cook County Assessor’s Office, the Cook County Board of Review, and the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB). iAppeal recommends filling an appeal at every available venue if data warrants a reduction in your assessment. Please note that in order to file an appeal at the PTAB you must have first filed an appeal at the Board of Review.

How will I know if my appeal was successful?

When a decision is rendered, the Assessor and/or Board of Review will send you the results. You may also access the results electronically by visiting the Assessor and/or Board of Review websites. If you achieve a reduction at the County Level (Assessor/Board of Review), your savings will be reflected in the second installment tax bill. If PTAB issues a reduction in assessment, you will be issued a refund two to four months upon issuance of the PTAB decision. Generally, the PTAB can take between 1 and 3 years to render a decision.