Your new property tax assessed valuation, and how you can appeal
By now, you should have received your new property tax assessed valuation from the Cook County Assessor’s Office. The assessed valuation of your property is an important factor in determining the property taxes you pay each year.
On average, the assessed valuation of properties in River Forest increased twenty-four percent (24%) since the last triennial assessment. The real estate market is healthier. Better market value results in increased assessed value.
But increased assessed value also may result in higher property tax bills. As you review your triennial assessment, you should make sure that it is based on accurate information about your home and that you feel the assessed valuation is a fair reflection of your home’s value. The market value of your home is determined by the recent sales of properties in your neighborhood that have similar characteristics (age, square footage, and type of construction).
If you feel that your home is overvalued, you can appeal your assessed valuation with the County Assessor. If you decide to do so, the window is a short one. The deadline is March 7, 2017. All supporting documentation is due on March 17. For more information on the appeals process, go to the Assessor’s website, www.cookcountyassessor.com. You can choose to appeal on your own at no charge or hire an attorney. Many attorneys base their fees on the amount of savings they earn for you. Always be sure to review any contract or engagement letter carefully before signing.
Should you have any questions, please contact the River Forest Township Assessor’s Office at 708-366-2787 or the County Assessor’s Office at 312-443-7550.
We also encourage you to attend an assessment appeal seminar hosted by the River Forest Township Assessor and Cook County Assessor office, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 21, at the River Forest Community Center, 8020 Madison Street (Room 206) to get your questions answered.
How the Village Board affects your property value and your tax bill
Carefully reviewing your property assessment is one way to ensure that your tax bill remains fair and stable. As strengthening property values and stabilizing property taxes are principal concerns of River Forest, we also can stabilize your tax bill by managing Village funds prudently and encouraging long-term economic development.
Each year, the Village government sets a property tax levy for the entire property tax base, both commercial and residential, to fund Village operations. Village operations consist mainly of Police, Fire, Public Works and Administration. Think of the total assessed valuation of all properties in River Forest as a pie, and your individual assessed valuation represents your share of the pie. By managing our levy (the budget) responsibly and continuing to work hard at economic development to add new assessed valuation (make the pie bigger), we can stabilize and in some cases decrease your share of the pie.
This effect is especially pronounced when we add new commercial properties. The taxes paid by commercial properties are based off 25% of their assessed valuation versus 10% for residential properties. Economic development initiatives, whether they are long-term (the Madison and North Avenue Street TIF) or short-term (the Lake and Lathrop and Lake and Park redevelopment), are an instrumental part of our effort to improve property values while stabilizing our property taxes.
The Village is committed to building strong property values combined with stable and fair taxes. We will continue to keep you informed of ways that the Village Board is working to deliver on these important goals.
Finally, the Village is just one of ten (10) government entities that tax you and me. Village government overall percentage of our tax bill is 11.73%. The other nearly 88% of our tax bill is spread across the other nine (9) government entities -- such as D90, D200, River Forest Township, River Forest Park District, Triton College, and Cook County that levy our property.
I hope this explanation has been helpful. As always, please feel to call me or Village Hall with any further questions.
Village of River Forest