residential property taxes

I Am Putting in an Offer on a Commercial or Residential Property – What Can I Do About the Property Taxes?

1.You can do a ‘back-of-the-napkin’ analysis on whether the property you are purchasing is over assessed considering your purchase price.

  • Outside Cook County:
    • Find the property index number or ‘PIN number’ on the Multiple Listing Service sheet (residential) or CoStar (commercial).
    • Go to the county and/or township website and input the PIN number.
    • Look for the total assessed value including land and building.
    • The level of assessment outside of Cook County is 33.33% so you would divide the total assessed value by 0.3333 to calculate the assessor’s market value for property tax purposes.
    • To the extent the assessor’s market value is higher than the potential purchase price, and assuming there is nothing unusual or non-arm’s-length about the purchase price, the value should be appealed.
  • Inside of Cook County:
    • Find the property index number or ‘PIN number’ on the Multiple Listing Service sheet (residential) or CoStar/Loopnet (commercial).
    • Go to the Cook County Assessor’s website and input the PIN number.
    • Look for the total assessed value including land and building.
    • The level of assessment inside of Cook County is 10% for residential and 25% for commercial. You would divide the total assessed value by 0.10 for residential and by 0.25 for commercial to calculate the assessor’s market value for property tax purposes.
    • To the extent the assessor’s market value is higher than the potential purchase price, and assuming there is nothing unusual or non-arm’s-length about the purchase price, the value should be appealed.

2.You can ensure that the property characteristics being assessed comport with the property you are buying.

  • Inside of Cook County:
    • You can send a Freedom of Information Request to the Cook County Assessor requesting the property record card including a building sketch. The current administration, as of the time of this writing, has a severe FOIA backlog.
  • Outside of Cook County:
    • You can call the local township assessor’s office and they will send you a property record card quickly in almost all jurisdictions.

3.If the purchase price exceeds the assessor’s market value, you should consider timing the closing until after the values for the township are published.

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