Assessor Services

“Oak Park Township Assessor Services can answer many questions on real estate assessment and property tax bills. Property values are determined by the Cook County Assessor’s office.”

Assessor Updates

Second Installment Tax Bills to be Issued Later Than Normal

 

Oak Park, Illinois – For most of the last decade, Cook County’s second installment tax bills were issued at the end of June and were due by August 1.  But for the 2021 taxes (paid in 2022), the issuance and due dates of second installment tax bills are expected to be much later than normal.  It is not yet clear when the second installment bills will be issued, but estimates range from mid- to late-fall of 2022, with the due dates coming thirty days after the bills are issued.

Before second installment tax bills can be issued, all Cook County assessment appeals must be resolved—first by the Cook County Assessor’s office and then by the Cook County Board of Review.  Unfortunately, this year there were compatibility problems between a new computer system used by the Assessor’s office and an older system used by the Board of Review.  These compatibility problems led to significant delays in the transmission of data between the county appeal agencies, and the result is that second installment bills will be late.

Oak Park’s experience with 2021 appeals (the results of which appear on bills paid in 2022), provides a good example of what has been happening.  On June 16, 2021, Oak Park’s appeal period with the Cook County Assessor’s office ended.  But due to the computer compatibility problems, the county assessor’s appeal results and final valuations for Oak Park were not released until November of 2021.  As a result, Oak Park’s appeal period with the Board of Review, which usually begins in the summer, did not start until December of 2021.

Taxpayers may appreciate that the second installment of 2021 tax bills will not be due until sometime toward the end of 2022.  But taxpayers should be aware that they will have far less time to prepare for the first installment of 2022 taxes, which should be due around March 1, 2023.  There may be just a few months between the payment deadlines for these two bills.

In addition, the delays in issuance of the tax bills may create difficulties for public schools, municipalities, and other local taxing districts that depend on property tax revenue.  Taxing districts with large fund balances may be able to handle the delays in tax bills, but some districts with smaller fund balances may have to borrow money to meet payroll and cover other expenses.

Taxpayers seeking updates about the status of second installment tax bills should feel free to call the Oak Park Township Assessor’s office at (708) 383-8005 or check the Township’s website.

About Oak Park Township

Oak Park Township provides government assistance through social services that help improve the well-being of residents at all ages and stages of life. We offer supportive services for seniors, youth, and people with disabilities, along with programs that address the unique challenges of mental health, substance abuse, unemployment and more. In addition, we serve as the community property tax advocate in helping residents understand their property assessments and how they may realize tax savings through appeals or exemptions.

Release date:  July 14, 2022

 

Ali ElSaffar
Oak Park Township Assessor
Oak Park Township
105 South Oak Park Avenue
Oak Park, Illinois 60302
Phone: 708-383-8005

Assessor News

View, print, and download the latest information from the Oak Park Township Assessor's Office.

Property Tax

Every Oak Park property pays a small share of Oak Park’s $199 million tax burden.

A property’s share of the burden is determined by comparing its assessed value to Oak Park’s overall assessed value.

Thus, a property that comprises 1% of the total assessed value of Oak Park pays 1% of Oak Park’s total tax burden.

Spending increases will raise the community’s overall tax burden, and changes in your property’s share of the burden will determine whether it pays a larger or smaller portion of the increased community-wide tax burden.

Property Tax Appeals

APPEAL PERIOD RUNS FROM JULY 30 TO AUGUST 28 

Contact:  Ali ElSaffar
Oak Park Township Assessor
(708) 383-8005

Taxpayers requesting assistance with their appeals may call 708-383-8005 to request a phone appointment.  

Effective:  July 30, 2020

Property Tax Exemptions

Senior Property Tax Exemptions

Applications for Senior Property Tax Exemptions have been mailed.  

A new law in 2019 provides automatic renewal for the Senior Exemption; it is available to all homeowners 65 years of age or older, regardless of income.

Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemptions

All veterans who receive the Disabled Veterans Exemption are entitled to property tax savings.

A new law in 2016 allows veterans of the US Armed Forces who were severely wounded and while serving their country and who are at least 70% disabled complete exemption from property taxes

Frequently Asked Questions

In 2017, the state legislature approved a new program that provides state aid to school districts with very high property tax rates.  This year, twenty-eight Illinois school districts, including Oak Park and River Forest High School, qualified for financial aid under the new program.  The program provided the high school an extra $3.8 million in state aid this year, but in exchange, the school had to reduce its property tax levy.  This year’s levy is $4.5 million less than the levy from last year.

Ordinarily, the high school and most other taxing districts have the right to increase their tax levies by an amount equaling the annual rate of inflation.  If the school had not received the extra money from the state, it would have sought an inflation-level tax increase this year, and the result would have been a 4.4% tax increase for most property owners in Oak Park.  Thanks to the extra state money, however, the typical tax increase in Oak Park is just 2.1%. 

Local taxpayers should enjoy the tax relief provided by the new state program, but understand that it may not last.  The high school should remain eligible for this increased aid from the state for a number of years, but the additional money is not guaranteed, as the state could fail to fund the program or alter the eligibility rules.  In addition, program rules require the school district to reduce its tax levies in the initial year of the program, but apparently, do not require tax reductions in subsequent years.  Thus the duration of this year’s tax relief depends on decisions of the state legislature and the high school board. 

The reduction in the high school’s levy was offset by tax increases from local governments that did not receive new state aid targeted at reducing property taxes.  These increases, however, were generally moderate.  For example, the Township, the Park District, and Oak Park’s Village government each posted tax increases of about 3%.

The biggest local tax increase this year came from elementary school district 97.  The primary reason for its 4.1% increase relates to the continuing impact of an error made two years ago, when the school district received $2.6 million more from a referendum than it expected.  To make up for overtaxing two years ago, the school reduced its tax levies last year.  With a 4.1% tax increase this year, District 97’s overall levy is now close to the level it would have reached if the district had collected the correct amount of money in 2017, and then received inflation-level tax increases in the next two years.

If you are eligible for a homeowner, senior citizen or other exemption but did not receive one, the Township Assessor’s office can assist you in obtaining a revised bill for a smaller amount.  If you have received all exemptions for which you are eligible, you likely will not be able to do anything about your current bill.

Between July 1 and July 30, the Cook County Board of Review will be accepting appeals from Oak Park residents for next year’s taxes.  Residents may call the Oak Park Township Assessor’s office during the appeal period to schedule an appointment for help in preparing an appeal.  Alternatively, residents can get help at the end of the appeal period by attending a tax appeal seminar sponsored by the Board of Review.  The seminar will take place on July 30 at 6:30 PM at the auditorium of Percy Julian Middle School, located at 416 S. Ridgeland Avenue in Oak Park. 

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