How Our Fees Work
Our fee for appealing your taxes is a contingency fee. That means, if we are unable to reduce your assessed value, or secure other savings, we do not charge you anything. Our highest contingency fee is 33%.
2019 Tax Year Contingency Fees:
- Chicago Townships = 22%
- South Suburban Townships = 11%
- North Suburban Townships = 33%
In order to begin the process, however, we do require clients to make a $25.00 upfront payment as part of the agreement. If we are unable to secure a reduction, the $25.00 payment is refunded to you. If we are successful, the $25.00 is applied to your account as a credit.
Once we receive notice from the Assessor that we have reduced your Assessed Value, or attained a Certificate of Error, we will post the official result letter and our invoice to your dashboard. Our system will automatically charge your credit card for the invoice amount (Less the $25.00). This is the First Invoice.
We will then file an appeal at the Cook County Board of Review. Once we receive notice from the Board of Review that we have reduced your Assessed Value, we will post the official result letter and our invoice to your dashboard. Our system will automatically charge your credit card for the invoice amount. This is the Second Invoice.
HOW THE NUMBERS WORK
Here is how the numbers work. Let’s say the Assessor initially assigns an Assessed Value of 50,000 to your property. We file an appeal, and get the Assessed Value reduced to 45,000. We reduced the Assessed Value by 5,000.
Cook County Property Taxes are calculated as follows:
Assessed Value x Local Tax Rate x Equalization Factor = Property Taxes
For this example, let’s say the tax rate is 7% and the equalization factor is 3.0. The calculation of the taxes is as follows:
Original Taxes = 50,000 x 7% x 3.0 = $10,500 property taxes
Reduced Assessed Value at Assessor = 45,000 x 7% x 3.0 = $9,450 property taxes
Thus, $10,500 – $9,450 = $1,050 savings
If the contingency fee is 33% of the savings, then the taxpayer pays $321.50 ($346.50 – $25.00 (Registration Fee) = $321.50) for the successful appeal at the Assessor. This is the First Invoice which must be paid automatically with a credit card. (If the invoice is not paid within 60 days, we may not file at the Board of Review.)
THEN we will file an appeal at the Board of Review. Let’s say we attain a further reduction at the Board of Review, reducing the Assessed Value from 45,000 (final Assessed Value from Assessor) to 41,000 (final Assessed Value from Board of Review). The calculation of the
Taxes based on Assessor Reduction = 45,000 x 7% x 3.0 = $9,450 property taxes
Reduced Assessed Value at Assessor = 41,000 x 7% x 3.0 = $8,610 property taxes
Thus, $9,450 – $8,610 = $840 savings
The fee is 33% of the savings = $277.20 for the successful appeal at the Board of Review. This result letter and invoice will be posted to your dashboard and your credit card will be charged $277.20.
There are no other fees moving forward!
THE PROPERTY TAX APPEAL CYCLE AND YOUR TAXES
The Property Tax Appeal Cycle is long. It can take anywhere from 6-8 months to appeal at the Assessor and the Board of Review. During that time, we receive notices from the Assessor and the Board of Review about any reduction in Assessed Value achieved.
But don’t worry, any reduction achieved will automatically be reflected on the Second Installment of your tax bill that is issued in the summer.
Hence, if we are appealing your 2018 assessed value, the reduction we achieve will be reflected on the tax bill you receive in the summer of 2019. You will get your First Installment Tax Bill, and that amount will be 55% of the total 2017 tax bill.
For example, lets say your total 2017 tax bill was $10,000. Regardless if you appeal your 2018 taxes or not, you will receive the First Installment of your 2018 Tax Bill in February, 2019 in the amount of $5,500. Then the Second Installment of the 2018 Tax Bill will be due in August of 2019. It is the Second Installment that will be calculated on the increase/decrease of assessed value.