Pat Quinn, Governor
Why are my taxes so high?
Your tax bill depends on two factors: (1) the assessment of your property and (2) the amount of money your local taxing districts need to operate during the upcoming year. The assessment of your property is set by county assessing officials. If you live in Cook County, it is the County Assessor. If you live in any other county, it is a township assessor or the supervisor of assessments.
If I feel my assessment is too high, how do I begin the appeal process?
Taxpayers who believe their properties are over-assessed and live in counties other than Cook County should appeal to the local board of review. Call the board of review or supervisor of assessments' offices for filing deadlines each year.
In Cook County, taxpayers can file an appeal with the County Assessor or the County Board of Review. Call these offices and ask for the date for filing an appeal in your township. The County Assessor's taxpayer assistance department may be reached at (312) 443-7550. The Board of Review's telephone number is (312) 443-5542.
A taxpayer who is unhappy with the result of an assessment challenge before the board of review can appeal to the PTAB. A petition for appeal to the PTAB must be filed within 30 days of the postmark date of written notice of the board of review's decision, or the postmark date of the written notice of the application of final, adopted township multipliers by the board of review. Your appeal will be rejected if you fail to file on time.
Persons who can file an appeal:
How do I obtain the forms I need to file an appeal with the PTAB?
Appeal forms are available at the offices of:
Where do I file my appeal forms?
You may file your forms:
NOTE: Petitions or any other type of information or evidence sent by a fax machine will NOT be accepted.
Are there any filing fees with the PTAB?
There is no charge for filing an appeal with the PTAB.
Is payment of my property taxes delayed by an appeal to the PTAB?
No. If you choose to appeal your board of review's decision, the taxes still come due. It is likely the matter will not be decided by the PTAB until after the taxes are to be paid. Therefore, pay them on time.
How long does the process take before the PTAB?
The PTAB hears four types of appeals: residential, commercial, industrial, and farm. In the large commercial and industrial appeals, the parties often need additional time to compile and submit their evidence to the Board. Furthermore, local taxing bodies have the right to intervene in any Board appeal. The entry of intervening parties and any requested extensions of time for the submission of evidence may delay resolution of the appeal. Therefore, the time frame required to resolve such appeals is difficult to project.
What are the grounds for appealing to the PTAB?
There are several grounds for appeal. You may argue one or more of the following before the PTAB:
FAIR MARKET VALUE
You must show that comparable or similar properties in your neighborhood have lower assessments than your property. Submit at least THREE comparable properties from your neighborhood with ALL relevant data including copies of property record cards or property characteristic printouts. A comparable property is discussed below.
CONTENTION OF LAW
A brief must be submitted explaining the contention of law you are raising.
What is a comparable property?
A comparable property is one that resembles your property in:
How much time do I have to submit evidence to the PTAB?
After your appeal is received by the PTAB, you may request an extension of time to submit evidence for good cause shown.
Can I request an extension of time over the telephone?
No, any requests must be made in writing. When doing so, please make reference to your assigned docket number, if one has been assigned.
How much time does the board of review have to submit evidence?
The board of review is notified of your appeal only after you have submitted evidence to call into question your property's assessment. After notification, the board of review will have a maximum of 90 days to submit evidence justifying its assessment of your property, unless the Board approves a longer period of time.
Do I need an attorney to represent me before the PTAB?
No. A taxpayer may represent himself. You may hire an attorney if you want. PTAB Rules prohibit accountants, tax representatives, real estate consultants and others not qualified to practice law from appearing at hearings before the PTAB in a representative capacity. However, such persons may testify and assist taxpayers and attorneys at hearings before the PTAB.
How are PTAB decisions issued?
There are two ways the PTAB renders a decision in your appeal:
What happens if the PTAB lowers my assessment?
A copy of the PTAB's decision is sent to your county treasurer. By law, the treasurer is required to refund the overpaid taxes. The amount of time needed to process the refund varies from county to county. Contact your treasurer for details.
Do I have to file every year with the PTAB?
No, but if you receive a favorable decision from the PTAB in one year, you should refile for the next assessment year. This is because the PTAB decision affects only the assessment year that you appealed. Furthermore, it is likely your local assessing officials have set your property's assessment for the next year before the PTAB's decision in the prior year was rendered.
What if I lose before the PTAB?
Final decisions of the PTAB are reviewable in the courts under the Administrative Review Law (735 ILCS 5/3-101, et seq.) and 35 ILCS 200/16-195. The administrative review process is explained in detail in the "Practice and Procedure Before the Board" section of our Home Page.
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