Here’s how much Chicago commercial property assessments are increasing

Preliminary data show commercial property assessments under assessor Kaegi climbing at three times residential rate

Cook County Tax Assessor Fritz Kaegi (Photo via Alex Nitkin, iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
Cook County Tax Assessor Fritz Kaegi (Photo via Alex Nitkin, iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

Commercial property owners in Cook County, which includes Chicago, could see a 75 percent hike on their assessments, roughly three times the increase for homeowners, according to preliminary figures.

Citywide assessments would rise by an average of 50 percent as a result of Cook County Tax Assessor Fritz Kaegi’s first triennial reassessment, according to an analysis by property tax appeals firm O’Keefe Lyons & Hynes reported by Crain’s.

“The shift from residential to commercial demonstrates the 2018 under-assessment of large commercial properties in downtown Chicago and elsewhere during the (Joe) Berrios administration,” Assessor’s Office Spokesman Scott Smith told Crain’s, citing assessments by Kaegi’s predecessor.

Kaegi has long said that commercial properties have historically been under-assessed, thereby shifting the tax burden onto homeowners. While independent analyses support that claim, the business community has pushed back against the increases, saying they can’t afford a dramatic hike during the pandemic.

The reassessments come two weeks after first-half property tax bills were mailed. Full-year, second-half tax bills due later this year won’t go up as much as the assessments and will drop in some cases. Increases on individual properties will depend on the value of the property relative to property values citywide.

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The average assessment on commercial property will be 76.87 percent, taxes on rental apartments will rise by 73 percent and single-family residential properties by 25.6 percent.

Average residential hikes vary from 14 percent in Hyde Park Township to just under 36 percent in West Chicago Township.

The assessments won’t be final until they’ve been reviewed by a three member panel called the Board of Review, which previously overturned many of Kaegi’s reassessments in the suburbs, according to Crain’s.

Some industrial properties will see an increase over 121 percent, the largest increase for any property type, as a result of an increase in land values in gentrifying neighborhoods near the city’s downtown.

[Crain’s] – Harrison Connery

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