Rogers Park apartment landlords could see assessments skyrocket

Fritz Kaegi’s proposed increases will likely be repeated in more Chicago neighborhoods

Chicago /
Jun.June 21, 2021 05:07 PM
Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi (Getty, Kaegi)

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi (Getty, Kaegi)

Commercial landlords in parts of Cook County have seen assessed property values rise dramatically since Fritz Kaegi took office in late 2018. Kaegi has said his new assessment model replaced a previous version that undervalued larger properties while raising assessments on poorer homeowners.

Now, apartment landlords in Rogers Park could be facing higher property tax bills under Kaegi’s latest proposal, according to Crain’s. The area is the first one in Chicago to receive a new assessment under Kaegi, and will likely represent a taste of what’s to come for other landlords across the city. The changes are not final.

The average assessment on an apartment building in the neighborhood would skyrocket to $235,000 from $65,000 in 2018, according to Crain’s. That’s a jump of more than 250 percent.

Meanwhile, condo and single-family homeowners would see their average assessments rise to $25,000 from $21,500; only about 15 percent more, according to the report.

Commercial and industrial property owners in the neighborhood would see a 60 percent jump in average assessments, to $174,000 from $113,000.

It has been a similar story for commercial landlords in other parts of the county. In November, Kaegi increased the total assessment on commercial properties in the south and west parts of the county to $5.3 billion, which amounted to a 56 percent overall increase from 2019. Assessments of residential property values in that area only increased by about 8 percent to $8.4 billion.

And in 2019, his office increased the total commercial assessed values in the northern suburbs by about 77 percent, while residential properties only rose by 14 percent.

The model that previous Assessor Joe Berrios used came under criticism after an investigation by the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois found it was offering tax breaks to high-value properties while raising assessments on lower-income homeowners.

But landlords won’t be the only ones feeling the pain under the new assessments. Renters could too, given that owners would likely pass the increase on to their tenants, according to the report. Rogers Park has among the largest supply of affordable housing of any neighborhood in the city.

Meanwhile, in April, Cook County landlords were still far behind on their commercial property tax bills. They owed the county nearly $200 million in commercial property taxes from part of 2019, and another $1.1 billion from all of last year.

[Crain’s] — Alexi Friedman 


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