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Owners of commercial property in the Chicago area have a lot to think of when it comes to their bottom line, and one financial aspect of owning a business is property taxes. It is essential that property taxes are paid on time to avoid late payment penalties, which could harm those who own commercial property. However, due to recent events in 2020, commercial property owners in Cook County who have been unable to pay their property taxes on time may find some relief.

Cook County is offering waivers that will extend the deadline for paying property taxes from August 3, to October 1 without incurring the normal 1.5% interest penalty. The waiver is meant to provide struggling property owners with the financial relief they need during these times, especially if tenants are unable to pay rent.

Normally, Cook County collects an estimated $12 billion annually in property taxes. The official value of a business or parcel of land in Cook County for property tax purposes is determined by the Cook County Assessor. This is a complex process. It is important to note that adjusted assessments apply to next year’s property tax bills, not the current year’s property tax bills.

However, there will be times when a commercial property owner will believe the assessment by the county is incorrect and want to appeal it. Doing so can provide property owners with long-term savings. When appealing a tax assessment, it is important to re-examine the parts of your property that are usable. An appraisal done by a third-party can also help. In addition, simply having a conversation with neighboring property owners about what they pay in property taxes can be useful.

However, any of these steps should not be taken without the consultation and assistance of an attorney. Tax law attorneys in the Chicago area understand the complexity of tax appeals, especially the applicable laws and guidelines that must be followed in order for a favorable result to be reached. Attorneys want to see their clients pay the lowest amount in property taxes as possible, so it is important to seek legal advice if you have any property tax questions or issues that could significantly affect the well-being of your business.