“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.”
2021 Tax Appeal Period Open for Oak Park Until June 16th
The Cook County Assessor’s office has announced that it will be accepting appeals of the assessed valuations of Oak Park properties between May 17 and June 16, 2021. According to Oak Park Township Assessor Ali ElSaffar, individuals looking for assistance in filing appeals should feel free to contact his office at (708) 383-8005 to set up appointments during the appeal period.
“All Oak Park properties were reassessed in 2020, and most of the values set in 2020 will remain unchanged until Oak Park’s next reassessment in 2023,” ElSaffar said. “Because the 2020 reassessment was such an important part of the tax process, many people believe that assessed values can only be appealed during a reassessment year. But since property values can change from year to year, assessed values can be appealed in any year, including 2021.”
Although ElSaffar expects to see fewer appeals in 2021 compared to 2020, there are some circumstances where taxpayers may want to appeal this year. One such situation arises when the county assessor sends notices of reassessment for properties that have had significant changes in the last year, such as the construction of a new building or an addition to an existing building. The 2021 appeal period also allows taxpayers to bring attention to changes in the value of their properties over the last year. Finally, taxpayers who missed the deadline for appealing their 2020 assessed values can contest their values for the 2021 tax year.
In most cases, those who are filing 2021 appeals because they missed the deadlines from prior years will not be able to do anything about their assessments from prior years. Indeed, since Cook County tax bills always arrive one year late, property owners should be aware that the money-saving effects of successful 2021 appeals will not appear on tax bills until the summer of calendar year 2022.
"The biggest point of contact between most citizens and their government arises through the payment of taxes,” ElSaffar said. “Oak Park residents with concerns about the fairness of this important point of contact should know that the Township is available to help residents redress tax inequities.”
Release date: May 18, 2021
View, print, and download the latest information from the Oak Park Township Assessor's Office.
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.
Property Tax Assessment Resources
Cook County Websites
Cook County Assessor Forms
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