Property owners in Cook County can expect to receive their 2023 Valuation Notices stating the value and classification of their property by early April. They may expect rather large increases again in assessed valuation.
According to a report prepared by Cook County Assessor Robert Thompson, the 2022 valuation notices were 32% higher than 2021. Valuations are calculated in several ways, but most significantly they are based on actual property sales in the previous year adjusted for market trends that may have impacted transactions.
While valuations may increase, effective tax rates on homesteaded property in Cook County were lower than only two other counties. Property taxes are used by local governments to pay for services and schools. The county board and city councils set budgets for the coming year in open meetings. The budget’s final figures are totaled and a calculation is made based on total property values in the jurisdiction to arrive at the effective tax rate percentage. That percentage is assessed on an individual property, with variations for classification and special conditions. There is nothing simple about the assessment or calculation of taxes.
The effective tax rate in Cook County is lower than only two others because the value of property in Cook County is significantly higher. Government spending is increasing, but its rate of increase is less than the rate of increase in property values.
Thompson reports finding that the average sales price for property transactions affecting the 2023 valuations is up almost 60% from the 2021 assessment. The median sales price is up more than 25% from the 2021 assessment.
Thompson also reports finding that demand for real estate is still strong in Cook County. He found at the end of January there were 15 homes listed for sale in Cook County and several of those are already under contract. The available listings range in price from $399,900 to $1,500,000.
The assessor looks closely at properties that have sold multiple times in a relatively short period of time. The cheapest house on the market now at $399,900 sold in May of 2021 for $250,000 marking a 60% value increase in less than two years.
Thompson observed that in early 2020 there were over 160 available properties, both improved and buildable land, listed for sale. Today that number is 48. And the number of residential/recreational property transactions over $1 million is growing fast. In the last two years, there were 14 transactions that exceeded one million dollars in value. In the prior decade, there was a total of just eight such transactions.
Thompson urges property owners to carefully review the 2023 Valuation Notice they will receive this Spring for valuation and classification. He encourages people to contact the assessor’s office immediately if they feel that something is incorrect. If the property owner and assessor cannot come to an agreement on the proposed valuation, taxpayers can appeal to the County Board of Appeals and Equalization Meeting in June. Dates, times, and locations of the meeting will be on the Valuation Notice and the county website.