Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin told residents at a 9th Ward meeting in Evanston Thursday evening that all homeowners should appeal their property tax assessment twice a year.

This year’s deadline for filing appeals to the Board of Review is Aug. 30. This year’s deadline for appeals to the County Assessor‘s office was Mar. 27.

Suffredin provided appeal forms that residents could fill out during the ward meeting at Pope John XXIII School and said he’ll do the same at another 9th Ward meeting at 9 a.m. Saturday at Fire Station #2, 702 Madison St.

A recent Chicago Tribune series documented irregularities in the tax assessment system in Cook County which the paper concluded tend to favor richer homeowners at the expense of poorer ones.

It also concluded that the appeals process aggravates the economic disparity — because more well to do homeowners are more likely to appeal — and most appeals do result in a tax reduction — shifting even more of the tax burden onto lower income residents.

Suffredin suggested that, given the current system, the only way for homeowners to try to gain an edge is to appeal their own assessments as often as possible.

Data from the Tribune reports indicate that on average only about a quarter of new home buyers in Evanston appeal their assessment the first year they own the property.

Assistance in filing appeals is available by calling Suffredin’s office at 847-864-1209 or through the City of Evanston Property Tax Assessment Review Office at 847-448-8168.

Related story

Report: Assessment system punishes the poor (6/7/17)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. I’m voting for Amiwala.

    So a politician who has voted many times to raise taxes tells us to appeal twice a year as if he’s the good guy.

    I have a better idea. How about politicians LOWER our  taxes for once. Or, how about us taxpayers just vote out of office all of these career politicians such as Suffredin. Now his son has entered the family business as Sixth Ward alderman. My gut tells me the son is being primed to take the dad’s seat. Just a hunch. That’s how Chicago politics works.

    Bushra Amiwala is going to run against Larry Suffredin in next year’s primary. One of her platforms is term limits. A few years back more than one million Illinoisians signed a petition to put on the ballot a voter referendum for term limits and gerrymandering reform. The Democratic party hired one of its lawyers to sue and then Judge Mary Mikva, daughter of longtime Democratic powerhouse, Abner Mikva, ruled the petition unconstitutional. So we couldn’t even vote on term limits or gerrymandering.

    I’m voting for Amiwala.

  2. Are you Serious?

    Perhaps we can get that criminal Berrios out of office, and also Mr. Sufferdin.  It’s ridiculous that he is telling us to appeal twice a year.  What a waste of our time and the county staff time.  Get rid of both of them and maybe we can have a fair system, where you appeal if something is out of ordinary.  Not because the criminals in office are lining their pockets.  Give me a Break!

  3. It’s all a job scheme on taxpayers’ backs
    Politicians, assessors and property tax lawyers all make sure their money comes in like clockwork every year as they steal home equity appreciation from us. The only solution is to starve the beast.

  4. Farcical and Absurd

    On the one hand, I appreciate Mr. Suffredin’s candor and acknowledgment that home owners should appeal their real estate taxes two times per year, each and every year.

    On the other hand, isn’t this absurd? 

    This process unfortunately doesn’t instill much faith or confidence in government.

    And in a community and government that claims to value “equity” can someone explain how this current real estate tax process is “equitable”?

    Hopefully Mr. Suffredin will recognize how unjust, unfair and inane the current process is, and provide leadership to restore some semblance of credibility to Cook County government.

    The only people who seem to benefit are real estate tax lawyers who make their living filing appeals. Oh, did I just indict Speaker of the House, Mike Madigan? He’s made millions and millions from representing corporations and individuals as they appeal their property taxes. Mike, can the public see your tax returns?

  5. Unrealistic and a pain

    Why doesn’t Commissioner Suffredin just appeal everybodies property asesment since he has so much time on his hands? I actually went to the workshop he sponsored and no luck in my appeal, I then paid a lawyer and again I struck out. How about getting good ole Joe Berrios and Madigan out of office first? 

    1. Sufferdin’s Office

      I have gone to Sufferdin’s office several times for help with appealing with success and have never paid a lawyer to do so.

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