in Total Property Tax Savings and Refunds To Date

Our demonstrated record of strategically minimizing a client’s property tax liability is a direct result of our experience navigating all of the nuances in reducing a property’s tax assessment.

The real estate market has and continues to change for some property types, while for others the market remains relatively flat or the general increases are not shared by each individual piece of real estate in the neighborhood. While there may be a minor degree of difficulty for the local assessor to fully understand specific challenges facing a property, more often than not, assessors make subjective decisions while aligning a property’s taxable market value with current market trends, cost, depreciation, capitalization rates and a host of other factors. Misjudgments can result in excessive and unlawful taxes.

To decide whether to challenge the accuracy and practical implications of a property’s assessed value, many factors should be considered including current market value of comparable properties and valuation methods used as well as practices employed by local assessing authorities. Our seasoned real estate experience affords our team a high degree of efficiency in analyzing tax assessments, managing the highly technical as well as complex appeal process and securing property tax savings or refunds.

Using a single-family residence located between Chicago’s Old Town and Gold Coast neighborhoods to quantify our experience, prior counsel filed an appeal of the 2009 assessment and unilaterally decided that they received appropriate relief since the reduced taxable market value of $6,563,270 held for the 2009 to 2011 tax years and the annual tax savings, before the homeowner’s exemption, would be approximately $8,454. When the subject was reassessed for 2012 triennial, counsel filed an appeal against the taxable market value of $6,487,490, no reduction was secured and did not pursue further relief as “…the assessment was lower than the prior triennial and neighborhood sale prices had increased in 2013 and 2014.” With our representation and valuation expertise, the property owner received $57,960 in property tax refunds for the 2012 triennial period as a result of reducing the taxable market value to $5,500,000. For the 2015 triennial period, securing a reduction of the taxable market value from $10,270,000 to $6,500,000, the property owner enjoyed tax savings, before exemptions, of $191,268 and obtained $22,300 in property tax refunds. A further assessment reduction in the 2018 triennial period resulted in additional property tax savings of $47,450.

Regardless of the complexity, intent, purpose or type of property, the goal of our practice is to provide both preventative and remedial actions for our clients in order to obtain and maintain the lowest real estate tax liability via minimizing the proposed tax assessment. By employing comprehensive property tax management and reduction strategies, a property’s tax assessment accurately reflects the specific features and characteristics of the asset. For example, while challenging the tax assessment of a multi-unit residential apartment complex via the income capitalization and sales comparison approaches to value, we identified a material amount of unusable land and, in addition to securing tax savings in excess of $72,000, the local assessor’s correction of the subject property’s description will afford a permanent reduction in the land assessed value.

The majority of our property taxation management services are provided on a contingency basis, so there is no fee unless an assessment reduction is achieved. We provide complimentary tax projections for clients acquiring, disposing or leasing properties, assist in negotiation of tax proration provisions and, on an annual basis, work closely with our clients to ensure that they are not at a competitive disadvantage through the operations or ownership of their properties, e.g. a $77,100 reduction in taxable market value of a family owned and operated auto repair facility in Streamwood resulted in more than $20,500 in cumulative tax savings and over $9,200 in property tax refunds, allowing them to increase local market share against their competitors.