By Vince Gerasole

(CBS) – Call it sticker shock. The average property tax bill in Chicago is up nearly 13 percent, or $400 over last year.

In some cases, the bills can be more than double. CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole has a look at how some homeowners are trying to fight that.

It came out of nowhere for Chad Lieberman.

“It went up so dramatically I was just so taken aback,” he says.

His upscale Logan Square condo looks out on the popular 606 Trail. That is coming at a price. His property taxes jumped from $3,100 dollars to more than $7,300.

“It’s extremely difficult to understand,” Lieberman says.

It is calculated on an assessed value that more than doubled, from $192,000 to nearly $430,000.

“I have had to make multiple phone calls to try and understand how assessment price is calculated,” the owner says.

To fund Chicago police and firefighter pensions, hefty tax rate increases were approved last year. But assessed values are also based on location, and living in trendy Logan Square is proving costly.

Richard Shapiro is one of Cook County’s leading attorneys who appeals property taxes. His phone won’t stop ringing.

Taxes aren’t appealed. Assessed home values are, and the time to appeal comes once every three years when the county reviews your home’s value.

“I think it’s designed to be confusing,” Shapiro says. “People throw up their hands and pay their bill.”

You can also appeal assessment on your own by going to the county assessor’s website. You look up your home, then search for similar properties with lower rates, and file the appeal.

None of that, however, will have any impact on the property tax bills due Aug. 1.

 

 

Vince Gerasole