Cook County Property Tax Bills Due Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Republished from the Raila & Associates newsletter

What you need to know about your 2017 tax bill.

1st installment property tax bills have been mailed out in Cook County and are due March 1, 2017. Although the property assessment, appeals and tax system may be overwhelming and confusing, we will break it down for you!



In Cook County, the 2017 1st installment property tax bills do not reflect property tax reductions unless a successful appeal was filed in 2015. Confusing because property tax bills are paid one year behind. If you received a reduction in 2016, the effect is seen on the 2nd installment tax bill in July, 2017, and consequently, on the 2018 1st installment tax bill.


For all property classifications, this 1st installment 2017 bill is 55% of the total 2016 annual taxes billed. If your total 2016 taxes were $10,000, your 2017 first installment would be $5,500. Again, any tax appeal started in 2016 or even in January 2017 does not affect this 1st installment. 2016 assessment reductions and changes to exemptions are only reflected on the 2nd installment


tax bills mailed out at the end of June, 2017. This means that if you are not yet a client of ours, you still have time to sign up for your FREE 2017 property tax evaluation from Raila PC!


If your 1st installment is 55% of your prior year’s property tax, is your 2nd installment 45% of the prior year? NO!  Changing tax rates (historically on the increase), changes to your exemptions, and any assessment reductions or increases are only reflected on your 2nd installment tax bill and the following tax bills until a new triennial assessment cycle begins for your township. Changes between the first and second tax bills can be substantial. Reductions resulting from a successful tax appeal by Raila & Associates, PC would be reflected on your 2nd installment tax bill and in some cases, result in a refund.
Every reduction in your assessment/market value has a successful short and long term impact on your property tax liability, even if you do not see it directly on this 1st installment bill. Do not be complacent!  You must be diligent in trying to achieve and maintain fair taxes. If you have not yet signed up for your FREE property tax evaluation, click here now.



  1. In person at :
  2. By mail
    • Cook County Treasurer, PO Box 805438, Chicago, IL 60680-4116
  3. Online
    • You can pay your bill online by visiting the Cook County Treasurer’s website.  The Treasurer offers 2 online options to pay your property tax bill but be aware that in most cases you will be charged a “processing fee” to pay online.



You can appeal each year, not just during the new triennial reassessment.  We recommend that you file at BOTH the Cook County Assessor and the Cook County Board of Review for the best outcome. If you have a factual error in your property characteristics, like a greater than 5% square footage error or a property classification error, you are entitled to file at the Assessor and request a refund for the 3 previous years if you owned the property. Back tax refunds are only issued by the Assessor’s Office through a Certificate of Error.(CE).


Why not appeal your taxes on your own?


Contrary to popular belief, yes, you can appeal on your own.  However, the key to winning an appeal is by researching and evaluating the evidence available and choosing the best data to build the strongest case.  A search on the internet will verify that trying to appeal your assessed value in Cook County can be very confusing and time consuming.  You need to visit a myriad of websites to find the correct evidence, analyze it, arrange it, and make sense of it all. You then need to print and/or electronically file your appeal. But that’s not all…you then need to analyze the Assessor’s decision for an opportunity to rebut a denial or insufficient tax relief decision. Property owners who feel that their time is too valuable to deal with  the  frustration of fighting these battles on their own, search out an experienced law firm specializing in property tax appeals, like Raila & Associates, PC. Raila PC also gives free self-help property tax information sessions that assist taxpayers through the appeal process.


Why hire tax professionals?


If you are going to hire a professional, you need to find a law firm with a great reputation that is experienced and familiar with how the assessment and property tax appeal process works. Raila PC’s team has over 100 years of combined experience in the property tax fieldOur attorneys, supported by qualified case analysts, paralegals and real estate brokers, successfully build and win appeal cases. We have achieved an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau due to our ongoing success. We handle all aspects of the long and tedious appeal process from research to representation at multiple stages. Once you sign and return our Agreement, we take it from there. Clients of Raila PC receive a package of documents in advance of their Township opening for upcoming appeals. Prospective clients should click here now to begin a FREE evaluation.  Remember, there never is a charge unless we are successful in your appeal and we save you money!


The property tax system may be complicated, but we hope you now have a little better understanding of appeal procedures and your options. For more than 27 yers, Andrea A. Raila, senior Tax analyst with Raila & Associates has conducted free property tax information sessions that help taxpayers through the appeal process. All of us at Raila & Associates, PC are here to help you navigate the waters of assessment and appeals so that you can relax while we work on results. If you have any questions or concerns, please e-mail or call us at (312) 587-9494.


If you already are a client of ours, expect to receive your document package in advance of your Township opening for upcoming appeals.  If you are not yet a client, be sure to click here now to sign up for your FREE property tax evaluation!