Property Tax Management & Appeals

3 Essentials of a Good Commercial Property Tax Assessment Appeal

  A good property tax lawyer can take your commercial or industrial tax appeal all the way to home plate. There are many requirements for a successful appeal, but we've narrowed it down to three essential ones.  

Thinking about a property tax appeal for your Cook County or Lake County business property? A property tax assessment appeal may be the best thing in these difficult economic times.

In fact, a good tax appeal is a lifeboat for every real estate owner.

As a commercial property owner in Cook or Lake County, you've watched your property value plummet in recent years. And with today’s recession, you need to watch every spending dollar. It's only smart to look into a property tax assessment appeal. Yes, filing an appeal is a good idea, but the job can be a minefield if you’re not careful.

Commercial Property Tax Assessment — Not the Same as Residential

A commercial property tax appeal is quite different from a residential one. Some commercial owners appeal on their own, or get a consultant who promises them great results. Later, they run into difficulties. That’s because commercial properties are more complicated than residential ones. There are proper procedures to follow, deadlines to meet, and you have to have a clear understanding of all that qualifies. For example, did you know that unrented units can be a reason for an assessment reduction? Did you know that there are different appeal deadlines for the townships?

A good real estate tax lawyer is like a detective who walks onto the crime scene and quickly reveals the solution. If he concentrates his practice in real estate tax law, he knows the procedures at the Assessor’s Office, and that means a better chance of a favorable appeal.

And, did you know — if your property tax assessment appeal reaches Cook County or Lake County's Board of Review, the law requires that an Illinois-licensed attorney present your case? You want a qualified person at every level who presents your case in a clear and direct manner. Anything less is like a hiker lost in the woods.

Three Essential Requirements of A Successful Property Tax Assessment Appeal

The real estate tax attorney must have multi-faceted skills. We have found that it all boils down to these three essential requirements.

He must be able to:

        1) Know your situation and how it measures up against existing regulations
        2) Properly present your case to the Assessor’s Office
        3) Follow it through to all levels to get the maximum results allowed by law

So, choosing the right person for your property tax assessment at the beginning of the process is crucial. You need to have the same qualified player for the whole ball game.

The Risky DIY Route

We’ve seen well-meaning property owners who are otherwise very smart follow the do-it-yourself route, or get one of the widely-advertised consultants. Then, deep into the property tax assessment process, they hit a snag and find themselves treading water.

Why waste time with a below-par approach? You need a person who understands your property, who is conscientious and is very familiar with the laws and regulations of property tax assessments. Someone who will look after it until the job is done. 

After many years in the field, we’ve found that a property tax assessment is an art as well as a science. Some ideas work, and some don’t. You need someone who is able to follow the three essential requirements mentioned above.

A Practice that's Focused on Property Tax Assessments 

The firm of Frederick R. Dempsey has handled commercial, industrial, and condo building real estate tax assessment appeals for over twenty years.  We have reduced assessments and obtained refunds worth millions of dollars for owners of real estate through tax appeals. We’ve seen it all. Allow us to boast a bit — we’ve learned something about this field. In fact, the highly-advertised tax firms at times hire us in the ninth inning to close the game.

If you own commercial or industrial property and are thinking of a property tax assessment, contact us today. (Note, when it comes to condos, we usually do only a whole building on behalf of the association.) We’ll be glad to give you a free, 15-minute phone assessment of your situation. You’ll know the merits of your case in a jiffy. Here's another benefit — fees for services can be contingent-based or by agreement.

Why delay? Let’s start today on a focused property tax assessment appeal for your business property.


Call Frederick Dempsey, Attorney 312-731-3920.