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 Cook County Assessor Jim Houlihan said residential property owners in Evanston Township were mailed notices on July 10 reflecting a reduction in the assessed values of their properties. The impact of these reductions will be seen in second-installment tax bills payable in the fall of 2010.

“The situation we are facing in the real estate market is extraordinary, and the downturn has had an impact on home values,” Mr. Houlihan explained. “After analysis of market sales and foreclosure data, we determined that Evanston Township homeowners should not have to wait until their properties are reassessed next in 2010 for the downturn to be reflected in their assessments.”

Normally, properties are reassessed every three years. The north suburbs are not scheduled to be reassessed again until 2010.

Due to this first-ever downward market adjustment, residential properties in each suburban township will receive adjustments of their assessed values. A 4% decrease will be applied to the assessed values of all residential properties located in Evanston Township, said the Assessor’s office. Reductions in other townships will range from four to 15 percent said the Assessor’s office.

The deadline to file appeals for properties located in Evanston Township is August 10, 2009.

These market reductions come as the Assessor’s Office is implementing the 10/25 Ordinance, a measure passed by the County Board last year which was designed to simplify assessment levels. Homes will now be assessed at 10% of market value. Commercial and industrial properties will be assessed at 25% of market value. All Cook County property owners will receive notices telling them of the changes in assessment levels this year.

These changes in assessment levels will neither increase nor decrease assessments, said the Assessor’s Office. They will simply give taxpayers the ability to review their assessments and determine if they accurately reflect the market value of their properties.

“If Evanston Township taxpayers want to appeal their proposed assessments, we encourage them to do so online,” Mr. Houlihan said. “Our newly redesigned Web site is easy to navigate, contains a wealth of information, and makes it easier than ever to appeal a proposed assessment.”

Even though the assessed value of residential properties is being reduced by four percent does not mean property taxes will be reduced by that percent. The total amount of property taxes due by all Evanston property owners is determined by the amounts levied by the city, the school districts and the other taxing bodies. A property owner’s share of the total taxes is determined by the assessed value of the owner’s property in relation to the total assessed value of all property. 

Help With Appeals

The deadline to file an appeal of the latest assessments is Aug. 10.

Cook County Board Commissioner Larry Suffredin said his office is offering assistance in filing an appeal and answering questions about the appeal process. Homeowners may call his district office at 847-864-1209 with any questions or to schedule an appointment for assistance in filing an appeal.