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The Assessment Squeeze

Lawyers are busier than ever appealing property assessments
Chicago Lawyer
September 2015

Franczek Radelet partner Ares Dalianis is quoted in the September 2015 issue of the Chicago Lawyer magazine. The article, "The Assessment Squeeze," examines the assessment appeals process and how it has evolved and grown over the years.  In particular, the article addresses how increasing numbers of appeals from commercial and industrial property owners have caused a shift in the tax burden to residential property owners and an impact on tax rates overall. Ares provides his perspective as an attorney representing school districts where he often steps in to contest these appeals which have an adverse impact on public bodies and their revenue sources. 

Ares discusses the impact of the increasing number of appeals on local school districts and the refunds that may be caused by those appeals.  "There have been more appeals filed, and those are taxes that our clients, primarily school districts, have already received. And we'll intervene on their behalf." Ares continues by indicating there are a number of reasons commercial property owners may see larger reductions at the Board of Review compared to homeowners, including the fact that commercial property values are higher and since there is a greater number of homes from which to compare assessments those assessments tend to be more accurate. He goes on to say the shift of burden from one class to another is no surprise. "You can see that shift in (the) data from (commercial) to (residential) properties. As a practical matter, that shifts the tax burden to homeowners, and I think that is one of the reasons you are seeing legislative initiatives like the property tax freeze concept - which is really a levy freeze - from the governor and others," Ares commented.