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300 S. Wacker Drive
Suite 3400
Chicago IL 60606
TEL: 312.786.6163
FAX: 312.986.9192
Practice Areas
Education
  • J.D., University of Illinois College of Law, 1990
  • Chicago Management Institute, University of Chicago Booth School of Business (2009)
  • B.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1986
Bar & Court Admissions
  • Illinois
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Ares G. Dalianis

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Ares serves as general counsel to a number of Illinois school districts where he focuses his practice in the areas of education law, real property taxation and assessment appeals, real estate, eminent domain, TIF counseling, and school district revenue litigation.  Ares has a substantial practice representing school districts before the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board, and in the circuit and appellate courts on valuation and tax rate objections, as well as exemption, tax incentive, condemnation and land acquisition issues.  He serves on the firm Executive Committee.

Before joining the firm, Ares served as the Deputy Supervisor of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Real Estate Tax Section and as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Lake County, Illinois.

Ares is the co-author of the chapter entitled “Property Tax Litigation” in the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education book Real Estate Litigation (2013)

Ares is a frequent speaker before diverse groups interested in property assessment and taxation issues including IASBO, IASA, the Civic Federation of Chicago, the Illinois Property Assessment Institute, Ed-Red, LEND, NWSSBO, SCOPE, SSSBO and others.

Representative Experience  click to view

  • Successfully defended northwest suburban school districts in lawsuit filed by municipality seeking to claw-back TIF district funds distributed by village at termination of TIF district. Village argued that TIF district was terminated prematurely and that funds distributed to school districts should have remained with village. Circuit Court granted school districts’ motion to dismiss, and village subsequently abandoned all claims against the districts.
  • Successfully defended south suburban school districts in lawsuit filed by real estate developer claiming TIF district proceeds should have been paid to developer under agreement with municipality rather than to the school districts. Circuit Court granted school districts’ motion to dismiss.
  • Secured litigation victory for school district in lawsuit brought by taxpayer advocacy group against North Shore elementary school district seeking to invalidate voter approved referendum. Court denied plaintiff’s request for injunction asking County to stop tax extension process and deny school district property tax revenue and later dismissed lawsuit in its entirety. On appeal, taxpayer group abandoned litigation altogether.
  • Represented school districts and local assessing officials as ‘friends of the court’ or amici curiae in brief to the Second District Appellate Court regarding the proper assessment of improvements with ‘open space’ assessment, with Court ruling in favor of amici position.
  • Represented Township Assessor at Board of Review hearing for specialty care hospital, with Board ruling that assessment should be increased by 70%.
  • Represented school districts and other taxing bodies in recoupment of more than $1 million in property tax refunds for fraudulently issued certificate of error to a west suburban Cook County hospital.
  • Acted as lead counsel for a large group of Cook and DuPage County school districts in settlement of utility right-of-way appeals at PTAB; utility agreed to dismiss all pending appeals in connection with prospective assessment relief allowing our clients to preserve more $21 million in property tax revenue from the settlement.
  • Represented school district at PTAB on appeals filed on major downtown Chicago office building where appeals were resolved with the property owner agreeing to dismiss its appeals and reimburse the district all of its legal and appraisal fees in exchange for agreed-upon assessment for following triennial.
  • Achieved increased assessments in PTAB appeals brought both by property owner and under-valuation appeals initiated by school districts with such decisions generating additional revenue for school districts.
  • Represented group of Cook and DuPage County school districts in filing amici curiae briefs with Illinois Appellate and Supreme Courts on issues of significant importance including the ordinance versus the median levels of assessment, the “2 ½:1” issue, use of historical cost assessments, and the opportunity to intervene in circuit court tax objection complaint proceedings.
  • Obtained reversal of circuit court order at Second District Appellate Court allowing our school district client to collect more than $240,000 in ‘rollback’ taxes upon the termination of an open space assessment for a property located within a TIF district.
  • Retained by municipality to increase incremental assessment within a TIF district.  Negotiated 70% increase over prior year assessment with improved functioning of TIF district and ability of municipality to make improvements to the redevelopment area.
  • Obtained favorable market value determination for school district seeking land via condemnation through binding arbitration.  Alternative dispute resolution method saved parties time and cost of jury trial while reaching market value below school districts’ final offer of settlement to property owner.
  • Assisted client in acquiring land from multiple owners to build new middle school where school district was reluctant to and ultimately did not need to file for condemnation as negotiation yielded favorable settlements consistent with district’s valuation evidence.
  • Represented school district in a four-day Illinois Department of Revenue hearing opposing property tax exemption application for state-of-the-art ice rink.  Department denied exemption, preserving for the district more than $500,000 in annual property tax revenue.
  • Facilitated public auction and sale of school district property and worked with municipality, park district, and buyer for development of sought-after grocery store operator.

Ares has also been involved in some of the leading property tax-related appellate court decisions of the past two decades, including:

  • GIS Venture v. Novak II, 2014 IL App (2nd) 103244 
  • LaSalle Partners, Inc. v. Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board, 269 Ill. App. 3d 621 (2nd Dist. 1995)
  • In re Application of Anderson, 279 Ill. App. 3d 593 (2nd Dist. 1996)
  • Cook County Board of Review v. PTAB (Bosch), 339 Ill. App. 3d 529 (1st Dist. 2002)
  • Cook County Board of Review v. PTAB (Lurie), 345 Ill. App. 3d 539 (1st Dist. 2003)
  • Elmhurst Chicago Stone Co. v. Novak, 356 Ill. App. 3d 180 (2nd Dist. 2005)
  • Commonwealth Edison Co. v. PTAB, 378 Ill. App. 3d 901 (2nd Dist. 2008)
  • Madison Two Associates v. Pappas, 227 Ill. 2d 474 (2008)
  • Lake Co. Board of Review v. PTAB and Onwentsia Club, 2013 IL App (2nd) 120429
  • John J. Moroney & Co. v. PTAB and Argo Comm. High Sch. Dist. 217, 2013 IL App (1st) 120493

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