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Vacancy Relief for Cook County Properties

Aug. 6, 2021

A run down stone structure with a bule door and a red doorIs your Cook County property sitting vacant due to a fire, flood, or another natural disaster event? You may be entitled to property tax relief.

Vacancy refers to the portion of a property building that is not subject to a lease or from which the owner/landlord is not receiving rental income. Land assessed value isn’t adjusted based on vacancy evidence.

Appealing and reducing your property taxes based on vacancy reduces the assessed value of a property, which generally reduces the property taxes. Due to the concern that some properties are being granted an excessive percentage of vacancy and gaining property tax relief, the Cook County Assessor has changed the rules on vacancy appeals, when you appeal at their office.

One new rule states that, for residential properties, assessment reduction as a result of property vacancy will only be recognized in the event of a casualty. Some examples of casualty include fire and flood. General rehab to update your property would not be a valid reason to appeal based on vacancy, according to the new rules.

Another new rule limits the number of years for vacancy relief. No more than 24 months of full or partial vacancy reduction can be tied to an individual event. So, if your home experienced a fire and it took you three years to rehab the property to make it livable again, you can only receive two years of vacancy tax relief.

For commercial properties, an additional reason to appeal based on vacancy would be if a property owner has made good faith efforts to lease/rent a property but no lease has been signed. Again, the new rule applies that no more than 24 months of full or partial vacancy reductions will be tied to an individual event.

If your property has been vacant and you have questions about getting property tax relief, you can contact our office to get your questions answered.