The assessor giveth, and the assessor taketh away. After increasing property values across multiple sectors to more accurately reflect the boom times, Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi is reducing them as the impact of the coronavirus curtails demand and craters values.
Kaegi’s office is lowering assessed values of single-family homes and condominiums in the south and west suburbs of Cook County by 8 to 12.2 percent, Crain’s reported. Values on apartments, office buildings, shopping centers and commercial buildings in the south and west suburbs will also be reduced. Properties in the northern suburbs and in the city of Chicago will be reassessed later this year.
“Record-breaking unemployment, widespread loss of rental income, and significant downturns in commercial sectors all demonstrate a clear need for our office to include Covid-19 market effects in our assessments,” Kaegi said in a statement.
How Kaegi’s office accounts for reductions in value due to coronavirus will be interesting to watch for, as there have been few sales since mid-March though values are widely expected to plummet.
According to Crain’s, Kaegi has calculated an expected unemployment rate for all 1,300-plus census tracts in the county; in the west and southern suburbs, his office will apply a “Covid-19 adjustment” of between 8 and 12 percent to single-family homes and condos. Multifamily buildings of six- or fewer units will see value reductions between 10 and 15.2 percent.
The assessor will be changing values on commercial properties through cap rates. He’ll be raising cap rates on assets hit hardest by the pandemic — hotels, shopping centers and restaurant properties, according to Crain’s. Taxpayers will receive changes to their 2020 assessments next year. [Crain’s] — James Kleimann