Push being made to reduce property tax bills in Cook County

The coronavirus crisis is one more blow to the already troubled real estate market in the Chicago area. 

In response, Cook County’s assessor is making moves that could reduce next year's tax bills on some pieces of property.

Realtors say the COVID-19 crisis cut in half the number of homes for sale in the Chicago area.

“New listings are down about 50 percent,” said Katie Legrand, Jameson Sotheby realtor. “Pending and under-contract homes are also down 50 percent."

What realtor Katie Legrand told Good Day Chicago is not news to Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi. He sees sale prices falling and has ordered his staff to return to four suburban townships they just re-assessed to see if values should be lowered.

“So, we're trying to take into account the effect of the COVID crisis on all these different markets,” said Kaegi.

In Oak Park, River Forest, Riverside and Palos Townships, four townships he just reassessed, Kaegi's ordered his staff to return for another look. Later this year, they're scheduled to reassess 13 more suburban townships in the southern half of the county.

“Prices are having to come down to entice buyers,” said Kaegi. “In a lot of cases, people who own small buildings where they pay rent are having to worry about ‘how long can they make rent?’”

Changes made by the assessors' office now will be reflected in property tax bills due to be delivered next year, in the summer of 2021.