When Fritz Kaegi took over as Cook County assessor, commercial landlords were among the most concerned that assessed values of their properties would skyrocket, and dramatically raise taxes.
But now it seems that Kaegi’s higher values for most of the 50 priciest commercial properties in the northern suburbs were lower than their recent sale prices, according to a Crain’s analysis of the assessor’s recently released data.
The assessor valued 31 of those 50 properties below their recent sale prices, according to the report. Eleven properties had values exceeding their sales prices and two properties had assessed values almost identical to the closing price. Six properties were excluded from the analysis because of inadequate data.
Kaegi started his three-year assessment process last year with north Cook County suburbs and he’s set to assess the south suburbs this year. Chicago’s assessments will come in 2021.
According to the Kaegi’s report last month, total assessed value of all industrial and commercial real estate in the northern suburbs — including apartments — rose nearly 75 percent from 2018, compared to a near 16 percent increase on residential property.
As a result, the property tax burden has shifted off of homeowners and onto commercial landlords. But Kaegi also won’t deliver a promised property tax break for the homeowners of hundreds of luxury homes built on floodplains.
Assessors aren’t supposed to use recent sale prices when valuing commercial properties, but they do use them in the aggregate — after completing their assessments — to gauge their accuracy.
Kaegi assembles market data on occupancies, rents and other variables to estimate values for individual properties, rather than using property-specific information. Some of the changes his office is undertaking include installing a new computer software platform. [Crain’s] — Brianna Kelly