Many Evanston homeowners will find some shocking news from the Cook County Assessor’s office in their mailbox soon.

New triennial assessment notices have just been issued for Evanston, and they show an average increase in residential property values of just over 25 percent.

The increases vary by neighborhood, ranging from 20 to nearly 31 percent, and of course they also vary by individual property. One block checked had increases ranging from 3 percent to 37 percent.

Property tax rates are set based on the overall value of property in a community — so if your assessment goes up by more than the citywide average, you can expect to see an increase in your property tax bill.

On the plus side, the increasing assessments can be seen as a sign of substantial recovery in the real estate market from the deep declines seen in property values late last decade.

If you can’t wait for the mail to see what your new assessed value is, you can find the information online at the assessor’s office website.

Related story

Property tax appeal workshop 

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. House by House listing of valuations
    In the past, when Assessed Valuations changed, the Evanston Review had a supplement [20-30 pages] that listed house by house [by street], the valuations.
    The date of this publication seemed to vary so you had to keep going to a store that sold the Review [not too many of them] and look to buy a copy.
    I’ve and Reference librarians have not been able to find the Supplement online.
    Does anyone know an online source or who to contact at the publisher [seemingly the Trib] to buy a copy [instead of going to a store each week to see if that is the week for publication ?

    1. Comparing valuations


      There's no need to wait for the paper.

      You can search for any address range on a street that you like here on the assessor's website.

      And if you want to look for comparable properties to yours, you can go to the county's map application, enter your home's address, click on the address result in the left panel, then select "property comparables" from the top menu and click the "Find Comparable Properties" back in the left panel.

      (I found that process to be not very intuitive, but was eventually able to get it to work.)

      — Bill

      1. Why the map does not help much

        I tried something similar before but found it not of much use.  The way assessments are done, unless property has changed hands recently or they did improvements the Assessor knows about, the real value may be far off— obviously more valuable property in a better neighborhood will be valued lower than an obviously poorer quality home in a worse neighborhood.

        You really need to see the properties that look like yours [and similar neighborhood] and then look up Valuation.  Online that is very time consuming—thus the value of this publication.

        In any event the Assessor does not seem to recognize any comparisons made—i.e. a unit in a building was decreased 70% from one period to another and from the mirror attached building to where units were selling for $295K [as with other units in the same building] but valuation was $50,000.

        The Assessor and candidates for the job promised to give an explanation, but never did.  

        Thus you need many units to compare.



    2. The Review’s property assessments supplement…

      I saw information indicating that the March 3 issue of the Review will have that supplement.

  2. wow
    Assessment for 2016 is online at the cook county assessors web site.

    My assessment was up by 34 %. I hate to think what will happen if Biss’s plan to move teacher’s pension responsibility to the school district. That will bring a huge increase to Evanston property tax.

    My lawyer neighbor. who’s home is at least 1.5 times more valuable than mine is assessed about 20 % lower than my home. Just maybe, somebody has a buddy in the assessor’s office.

  3. Big peanuts..
    3 to to 37 percent.. That’s peanuts. Mine went up 43%, and that’s just the house lot. We’ll certainly be trying to appeal this one.

    1. This is what you get under one party rule

      This is what you get when only one political party rules.

      Time to vote all of these tax happy spend crazy Democrats. Vote out all of the city aldermen and mayor. Time for change.

      It's the only way.

  4. It would make a lot more
    It would make a lot more sense for them to tell you the average increase at the same time they tell you your own increase. One figure without the other is totally useless and just made me nervous

    Mine is up 37% which translates to about a (1.37/1.25 – 1) = 9.6% increase which I don’t like but I was expecting it to be a lot worse than that (thanks for reporting the Evanston average Bill, you saved me from a few days of anxiety) Then there’s the additional 2% since they raised taxes. So 11.6% higher than last year for me, well, it could be worse…

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