(Above) Aerial view of Cricket Hill (lower right in photo), an artificial hill 45-feet high at its highest point, from the website of Buena Park Neighbors Association. Planned as a bobsled hill in 1929 and completed by 1950, the area includes a running track and a field for football, soccer, and lacrosse. (Click on image to view larger version.)
4-Dec-21 North Side home and apartment owners in Lake View Township better buckle their seat belts and brace for a bumpy tax bill ride in 2022.
The 2021 property reassessment numbers released last week by the Cook County Assessors office for Lake View Township bounded by Fullerton, Western, Devon, and Lake Michigan show a sharp rise in values.
The township includes the north end of Lincoln Park and the neighborhoods of Andersonville, Buena Park, Edgewater, Lakeview, Rogers Park, Roscoe Village, and Uptown.
Weve seen similar, surprisingly robust real estate trends in Lake View Township that weve seen in other areas of the city, said Assessor Fritz Kaegi (left). In some areas, home values are rising significantly, though others have plateaued.
The assessors office estimated the 2021 median market value of single-family homes in Lake View Township was $890,000, while the median condominium value was $220,000. Market rents for apartments in Lake View Township range from $875 to $4,300 a month. Because of the pandemic, vacancies are running between 5 and 6.7 percent.
A spot survey by The Home Front revealed the following tsunami of 2021 reassessment hikes along the lakefront:
Buena Park. The 2021 estimated fair market value of a vintage brick two-story single-family home in a landmark district skyrocketed 35.8 percent to $1,707,800 from $1,257,100 in 2020, according to the assessor. The assessed value jumped to $170,780 from $125,710. The owner paid a 2020 tax bill of $28,004.
Uptown. The 2021 estimated fair market value of a vintage brick and stone two-flat rose 29.3 percent to $1,150,000 from $888,870 in 2020, reported the assessor.
The assessed value jumped to $115,000 from $88,887. The owner paid a 2020 tax bill of $19,110.
Lakeview. The 2021 estimated fair market value of a vintage Greystone three-flat rose 32.4 percent to $600,000 from $452,950 in 2020, according to the assessor. The assessed value jumped to $60,000 from $45,295. The owner, who claimed Homeowners and Senior Citizens exemptions and qualified for the Senior Freeze exemption, paid a 2020 tax bill of only $5,042.
Roscoe Village. The 2021 estimated fair market value of a three-story brown brick 16-flat rose 23.4 percent to $1,975,420 from $1,600,000 in 2020, reported the assessor. The assessed value jumped to $197,542 from $160,000. The owner paid a 2020 tax bill of $35,643. Because of the pandemic, this property has several vacancies and is a candidate for a hardship assessment reduction.
The assessors lofty market value increases translate into sharply higher assessed values. And that could spark some shocking real estate tax hikes when the second installment bills arrive in late 2022, analysts say.
The property tax bill is determined by four factors: the assessment, the equalization factor (or multiplier), the tax rate, and the exemptions, according to Michael Griffin, a Chicago real estate tax appeal attorney.
However, predicting a hefty property tax increase when the second installment of the 2021 bill arrives in late 2022 really centers on two wild cards the tax rate and the state equalization factor, which cant be challenged by taxpayers. The equalization factor is established each year for Cook County to bring property tax assessments in line with other parts of Illinois. The factor is determined by the Illinois Department of Revenue.
The main engine that drives up property tax bills is the amount of money spent by local government.
For example, homeowners who read their 2020 tax bills will see the continued increased spending for schools and police, firefighter, and teacher pensions. Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently proposed property tax increases in the new budget.
Property owners who think they are over-assessed should appeal now, Griffin advises. If the assessment increases are not appealed, the hikes will take effect on the 2021 tax bill. A homeowner cannot fight the tax bill. It is too late to appeal when the bill arrives.
Contact the Cook County Assessors office to find comparable properties or start the appeal process. The assessors deadline for filing an appeal in Lake View Township is December 23.
A taxpayer can file with the Cook County Board of Review and later with the Illinois Property Tax Appeals Board. Or call Michael Griffin, an expert tax assessment lawyer.