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The Home Front
Chicago homeowners now can instantly view their property’s construction details, assessment history, and recent real estate sales in their neighborhood by tapping into a new Cook County database.

5-Oct-22 – Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi has unveiled a searchable database that shows a greater level of information for each property located in Chicago and Cook County suburbs.

“A property owner now can visit the Assessor’s website, enter their property index number (PIN) or address, and obtain information such as the estimated market value, assessed value, and property characteristics,” said Scott Smith, Chief Communications Officer for the Cook County Assessor’s Office.

Noteworthy features include information pertaining to permits, parcel divisions and consolidations, and the Homeowner Improvement Exemption.

Another feature is the Neighborhood Sales function, which provides current real estate information that can be reviewed and printed, noted Smith.

Scott Smith

“This function generates a list of real estate transactions within the neighborhood code of a property within the last 36 months,” said Smith (left). “The information is useful for property owners that are considering filing an appeal or would like to understand the market value of properties in their neighborhood.”

Much of the Assessor’s staff work is accomplished by utilizing digital tools, including the Automated Valuation Model. The AVM is joined with the parcel universe to allow convenient spatial analysis and mapping of sales, which can be joined to historic assessed values for ratio studies, notes the Open Data site.

Here are some basic facts about how the Assessor does his job:

• It is important for homeowners to understand the current real estate market in their neighborhood. Assessments, under Illinois law, should be uniform and fairly reflect market values.

• If a property owner believes their property is worth less than the Assessor’s Office’s estimate of its value, the owner is entitled to file an appeal.

• Appeals can be filed once a year during a specific timeframe which can be found on the Assessment Calendar and Deadlines page of the Assessor’s website. A taxpayer can file with the Cook County Board of Review and later with the Illinois Property Tax Appeals Board.

“Homeowners often ask,” according to Smith, “what is the difference between Market Value and Assessed Value? The estimated Market Value is what the Assessor’s Office believes a property is worth in the current real estate market. The Assessed Value is the amount used to calculate your property taxes.”

For residential property, this is usually 10 percent of the estimated Market Value. For commercial property, it is typically 25 percent of the estimated Market Value.

Neighborhood Boundaries

Homeowners can learn more about the new enhancements by downloading a guide or participating in an upcoming virtual workshop. For tips on how to navigate the Assessor’s Property Details and to read frequently asked questions, go to Cook County’s Open Data site. Datasets from the Assessor’s office can be viewed and downloaded online at: www.cookcountyassessor.com/opendata

Homeowners also are invited to participate in a virtual workshop to learn more about the enhanced property details that can be viewed. The Assessor’s Office will be giving a live demonstration, viewable on Facebook and YouTube, and answering questions at noon on Wednesday, October 5.

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