* It will never cease to amaze me that the people who were most worked up by Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios and the Tribune’s property tax assessment series ended up demanding the changes that lead directly to this result, while the folks who most strongly supported Berrios in the primary are receiving the greatest benefit from all the public pressure and his impending departure…
With all residential property reassessments now mailed out in Chicago, homeowners across the city are seeing dramatic changes in the estimated value that will be used to determine their property tax bill next year.
Improved methods of valuing single-family homes, compounded by rapidly shifting housing prices in some areas, have triggered “sticker shock” in affluent or gentrifying neighborhoods like North Center and Logan Square, where the median assessed value of residential properties was boosted by as much as 50 percent and many individual assessments rose even more.
At the same time, a number of areas with less expensive housing — such as Englewood and New City — saw nearly equal declines in the assessor’s median value estimates.
The new assessment methods were developed to address long-standing problems exposed last year by the Tribune, which found that the Cook County assessor’s office under Joseph Berrios tended to overestimate the value of single-family homes in poor or working-class neighborhoods while underestimating the value of homes in wealthier areas. Those problems put a disproportionate share of the county’s property tax burden on less affluent homeowners, whose tax bills often were inflated while others got an undeserved break.