Purchase and Sale of Commercial and Residential Properties


Leasing of Commercial and Residential Properties


Real Estate Entity Formation


Landlord / Tenant matters









Residential, Commercial, Condominiums


Including Certificates of Error







What does the property tax appeal process really mean?


What do you reduce?


Do not confuse the term “reduction in property taxes” with the reduction of actual tax amounts. What happens in the real estate tax appeal process is that your PROPERTY VALUE, not your taxes, may be reduced. This means that if the value of your property is decreased, your taxes will be lower. But it does not mean that your actual TAX AMOUNT will be lower. Counties struggle to meet their budgets and continue to increase TAX RATES (tax rates cannot be changed once they are set). However, if your property value is reduced, the amount of taxes is lower than it would have been without the appeal. So, it is always beneficial to be successful during the property tax appeal process.



Who can file for a property tax appeal on my behalf?


No one can file for a property tax appeal on your behalf but a licensed attorney. Property tax appeal process is considered a practice of law. You cannot hire a consultant to help you because that would be deemed an unauthorized practice of law. (In re JIRO YAMAGUCHI, 118 Ill.2d 417, 426 (1987)). Any such appeal by a non-lawyer will be null and void and the assessment may be reinstated back to its original value. (ROGER SPRECK v. ILLINOIS PROPERTY TAX APPEAL BOARD, NO. 5-99-0676 (1999)). A property owner can appeal on his/her own behalf without a lawyer.



What documents does the KYZ Law Firm need to do my property tax appeal?


You do not need to provide us with any specific documents other than a signed retainer agreement and let us know the subject property address. If you have a recent appraisal it would aid in the process but it is not required. Everything can be processed via e-mail or mail and you do not need to come to our office. In addition to success, we strive to provide our clients with convenience and efficiency.



How often may I appeal property taxes?


If you believe your property's value is not accurately reflected with the Assessor's Office you can apply for a property tax appeal every year.



Are the properties of like kind, sold at foreclosure or short sale,  considered during the property tax appeal process?

The rules state that the the Assessor or Board of Review "may" consider such distressed properties but they are not required to do so.



Can I appeal my property taxes at any time?


No. The Assessor releases dates when it is appropriate to appeal your property taxes. You can appeal taxes through the Assessor's Office only once a year during the 30-day window provided for your township.



Will property taxes stop increasing next year?


Unfortunately, No. Property taxes are expected to continue to increase. In 2013, the Cook County Assessor largely attributed an increase in property taxes to the Illinois Senate's failure to pass a bill allowing the Assessor to crack down on fraudulently claimed exemptions to recoup lost funds.



I won my property tax appeal but my taxes still increased. How is it possible?


There are three variables that dictate the amount of your property taxes: tax rate, equalization factor and property value. The only variable factor you can appeal is your property value. Even if your property value was decreased, however, your tax rate may have increased and/or your township's equalization factor may have increased. If you did not appeal and did not reduce your property value you can imagine how much higher your taxes would have been! There is always a benefit to a successful appeal.



I am in the process of appealing my property taxes and I received a new property tax bill. Should I pay it? Will I receive a refund if I pay it now?

If you appealed your property taxes and we successfully reduced your property value there is never a refund that will be due to you. The County will not write you a check for the difference between the tax amount before and after the appeal process. Instead, the reduction is reflected in your next (2d) installment of your property tax bill. Therefore, if during the appeal process you receive a property tax bill, you should pay it.


For example, the due date for the Tax Year 2011 FIRST Installment in Cook County, Illinois, was Thursday, March 1, 2012. If we reduce your property taxes, the reduction (the new/revised amount) will be reflected on your SECOND installment for 2011, which is never mailed before the tax appeal process is over. You do not receive your second installment tax bill until all appeals are closed for that year, and the final amount for your property tax bill is determined. Therefore, there is never a refund if your property value is reduced; you simply will receive a revised tax figure on your 2d installment tax bill that you will have to pay at a later time.



My taxes are high and much of the taxes are going toward schools. I do not have any school-age children. Do I still have to pay that portion of the tax? Or, can I reduce my tax burden because I do not use the benefits that some of the tax provides?

A simple answer is: You cannot pick and choose which tax portion you would like to pay for and which tax portion you would like to opt out from.


For example, in addition to the school tax everyone in Cook and Lake Counties contributes toward the fire department and police department. This is in the event that you or anyone in your township will need those services. The County has to maintain those departments whether you in particular are expected to utilize those services or not. You do not get to opt out from the fire department tax portion because you do not expect to have a fire in the near future.  Apply this logic to the school tax argument.



How does the appeal process work if I hire your law firm?


Please review the flow chart explaining the complex appeal process.



I still have questions.


We recommend to contact us via e-mail at

or by telephone at 312.945.7795 to allow us to determine whether you have basis for an appeal. We are not open on weekends or late nights but we do return all messages within 24-hours or less.