As the City of Chicago is rolling out its triennial reassessment this year, local property tax appeal firm Taxpayer Advocate Group (“TAG”), is celebrating its 10 year anniversary of helping Cook County homeowners pay the lowest possible tax bill.
Born out of the financial crisis, TAG was founded at a quaint Irish pub by mortgage bankers Jason Terrell, TAG’s president and Certified Illinois Assessing Officer, and his West Point grad co-founder. As self-funded entrepreneurs, “It’s been fun to experience our progression,” Terrell said. “When we started the company we were using static files and excel spreadsheets; now it’s all cloud computing technology allowing us to identify saving opportunities instantaneously.”
Xpress Tax Appeals is innovative software that TAG developed to challenge the County’s assessment of a residential property and to streamline the Cook County tax appeal process. Terrell explained that the County taxes your property by first assessing its value. That base value, along with the state equalizer and tax rate, is used to calculate property taxes. Due to the large volume of real estate parcels in Cook County, the Assessor’s Office calculates a property’s assessed value by using a mass appraisal method.
“This model often allows for unequal treatment of property.” Terrell said. “TAG appeals your taxes by identifying the County’s inequitable assessment of your property and then by filing a property tax appeal. By filing an appeal, a homeowner is requesting a more just and fair assessed value. Lowering the assessed value means homeowners will effectively save on their property taxes.”
On July 27, Beverly/Morgan Park residents and other Lake Township homeowners are expected to receive their reassessment notices.
“Unfortunately, if these reassessments are like the 2018 North Side reassessments that have already been sent to property owners in Lakeview and Rogers Park, you can expect to see a large hike in your assessment. Some properties have seen increases up to 40%,” Terrell said. July 27 marks the beginning of a 30-day window in which residents of Lake Township will be able to file an appeal.
The strongest argument a homeowner can make in the appeal process is “lack of uniformity” – an argument that the property is being over-assessed as compared to properties with similar characteristics (i.e. neighborhood, construction type, age, etc.).
Although it’s most advantageous to appeal in the reassessment year, homeowners have the right to appeal their property taxes every year, as newly sold comparable properties or other changes in a neighborhood could provide another opportunity for a successful reduction.
The tax appeal process is complex and fraught with paperwork and deadlines. TAG is committed to giving homeowners peace of mind by meeting the challenges posed by the County and by ensuring that assessed values remain as low as possible. In addition, there are no upfront fees for the service and there is no charge if the appeal is unsuccessful.
TAG is no stranger to the Beverly/Morgan Park area. Operations manager Justin Sipich grew up playing baseball at Kennedy Park and lived on 107th Street where his family still resides. Sipich, along with TAG property tax analyst, Alex Coston, graduated from Morgan Park Academy. Because of their affinity for the community and its residents, TAG is a BAPA business member and a sponsor of BAPA’s 16th annual Bikes & Brews Cycling Classic on July 20.
TAG looks forward to helping community residents achieve the lowest possible property tax. Visit www.XpressTaxAppeals.com/BAPA by Aug. 31, 2018 for a 20% discount on their services.