America's Property Tax Advisor

Cook County Final 2020 Multiplier Announced

BY BOB TIVNAN, CMI, CHICAGO, JULY 2021

The Illinois Department of Revenue set Cook County’s final tax equalization factor (multiplier) for 2020 at 3.2234. This represents an increase from the 2020 tentative factor of 3.0861. Last year, Cook County’s 2019 multiplier was 2.9160.

 

Why the Multiplier is Important

 

The DOR determines the multiplier for each county by comparing the actual selling price of individual properties to their assessed values in a three-year period. If the median level of assessment for all property in the county varies from the 33 1/3 percent level required by law, an equalization factor is assigned to bring assessments to the legally mandated level.

 

The three-year average level of assessments (weighted by class) for Cook County property is 10.34 percent. The department calculated the multiplier to bring the average level of assessments to the required 33 1/3 percent level by dividing Cook County’s three-year average of 10.34 into 33.33.

 

After considering the 2020 reassessments, the levels of assessment are as follows:

 

3-Year Class

2017

2018

2019

Average

1 (Vacant Lots)

7.28

6.39

9.47

7.71

2 (Residential)

8.54

8.25

8.13

8.31

3 (Apartments)

7.48

6.66

6.15

6.76

5a (Commercial)

21.07

22.42

20.38

21.29

5b (Industrial)

22.55

24.10

23.02

23.22

COUNTYWIDE (Weighted average)

10.60

10.35

10.08

10.34

 

The multiplier does not cause individual tax bills to go up. It simply determines how the overall tax burden will be divided among different classes of property.

 

Tax Bills Delayed

 

Cook County’s 2020 second installment tax bills, which are usually out by July 1, are delayed this year.

 

Bills are expected to be issued in the beginning of August, and possibly even later. This would make the estimated due date for 2nd installment bills in early September.

 

In addition, the county currently has an ordinance on the books that will waive penalties and interest on 2nd installment tax payments until October 1, 2021. The exact mailing and due dates will be finalized by the county in the coming weeks.