America's Property Tax Advisor

Cook County Requires More Documentation on Appeals

by Bob Tivnan, CMI and Michael Byrnes, Chicago, March 2018

For 2018, building owners who have vacant space for lease in Cook County, Illinois now have more paperwork to do in order to get property tax relief. The Cook County Assessor's Office has updated and expanded its Vacancy/Occupancy Affidavit for property tax appeals.


The new two-page form still requires a monthly breakdown outlining the square footage occupied and vacant, along with a certification that current photos have been provided and leasing attempts by Brokers and/or Leasing Agents have occurred.


In a new part of the affidavit (page 2), owners must also include a detailed explanation about their attempts to lease the property. There is a checklist comprised of several methods utilized, as well as multiple reasons explaining an inability to lease.


Some examples of the information requested include:


  • The number of showings

  • The number of inquiries and offers

  • Reasons why any offers failed to result in a tenant leasing the vacant space

  • Other separate Assessor requirements include:


  • A local site contact be listed on the appeal form for apartment reclassifications along with the enclosure of dated photographs

  • More than the prior three years of income information should be submitted for hotels, if available.

In addition, two re-reviews will be allowed for the new prior-year Certificate of Errors request. Finally, the 2018 assessments for townships outside the triennial assessment region will have an accelerated schedule. This will push the 2018 reassessment tri-town appeals in the City of Chicago back to later this year.