Property Tax Assessments Surge During Latest Revaluation, Chicago Residents Report

In a small one bedroom apartment in an Uptown building, Margot Wang says her property tax assessment has jumped 50 percent in the latest revaluation.

"Fifty percent is crazy," she told NBC 5 Monday. "It’s the highest one I ever seen."

And she's not alone.

The Cook County Assessor's Office finished it’s once every three year revaluation and residents say they have already seen huge increases--and property tax bills haven’t gone out yet.

Former assessor candidate Andrea Raila says there is something wrong with the way residential properties in Lakeview and Rogers Park townships have been assessed--and it could have dire consequences for seniors and other residents on fixed incomes.

"It’s a huge increase in assessments that's really not warranted," she said. "If we don’t cap our triannual reassessments, we are going to be in a real problem with seniors who cant hang on to their homes."

Raila is proposing a 15 percent cap on revaluations, along with activating the office of township assessor in the eight townships that cover Chicago.

"Who better understands the market in their township, like Lakeview, other than a township assessor of Lakeview," she said.

But the assessor’s office, under fire from taxpayers and politicians alike, says it has changed the way it makes its calculations.

"The assessor’s office has implemented this year, for this triennial, improvements in the assessment model," said Tom Shaer, a spokesman for the assessor's office. "And the figures show, within four criteria, that we are within the correct ranges for progressivity for assessments."

Still residents like Wang worry about what they will see when their property tax bills come out later this year.

Maybe we have to move somewhere else--Wisconsin, with lower taxes, but not in the city if this keeps going up," Wang said.

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