To RPBG Members, Colleagues and Friends:

Why We All Should Care About the Assessors' Reclassification of Certain Mixed-Use Properties

The defeat of the "Bring Chicago Home" referendum reminds us that we must still find ways to preserve affordable housing. Now we fear that due to the Assessor's office reclassifying mixed-use buildings in our neighborhood corridors, many naturally occurring affordable apartments that exist in these building will be notably less affordable.


As background, there are two rates of assessment that determine taxable value:


  • Classification code 5-17 Commercial: stand alone structures, with the assessment rate at 25% of the fair market value.
  • Classification code 3-18 Residential/multi-family: assessment rate is 10% of fair market value.


For years, mixed-use buildings, apartments over commercial, has been at an assessment rate of 10% of fair market value.

Yet, the current Assessor's Office has made a policy decision that there is an imbalance between the 25% rate charged to the stand-alone 5-17s, and the 3-18s. The Assessor's Office is saying that because 3-18s have residential and commercial, that the commercial gets away with a 10% classification. The Assessor's Office argues that a stand alone commercial property ought not pay 2.5 times more than the other.


Thus, for certain types of mixed-use buildings where there exists 7 or more apartments with a commercial space below meeting or exceeding 35% or more of the gross building area, the Assessor's Office is imposing a new way of classifying 3-18s, which allows the Office to assess the commercial at 25%; with the apartments remaining at 10%. 


This might not sound like a big deal, but it is … dramatically impacting local small businesses along many commercial corridors. The Assessor's Office started reclassifying mixed-use properties in last year's reassessment of the south and west suburban properties. Yet, building owners are growing increasingly concerned now that the Office has introduced this reclassification in Chicago, starting in Rogers Park Township.

For some, the expected tax increase may be huge, with property assessments at times doubling - if not tripling. As taxpayers, we cannot get proper relief at the Board of Review - as we are told that the Board of Review cannot hear appeals involving reclassification.

Does the Assessor have the power to unilaterally change classifications without input from the Cook County Board of Commissioners? Or, does he need to present his suggested reclassification to the Cook County Board of Commissioners? 


This reclassification will severely impact "ma and pa" small business owners, who do not deserve such a hefty tax increase. This was done without adequate notice. It may also impact those renting apartments in these type of buildings, who will likely pay added rent to cover the whopping new property tax bill.


We investors and other taxpayers ought to expect more predictability - and perhaps reclassifications ought not happen unless first approved by the County Board of Commissioners.

Meanwhile, if you happen to own a building that may fall into this classification (Rogers Park Township has 26 properties that meet this classification), be sure to consult with your property tax advisor, as appeals are due on or before April 17th.

And those of you own similar properties in other parts of the City - be aware!

Property Values for Rogers Park Township Released


With frigid temperatures forcing cancellation on MLK Day, Sullivan High School and Friends of Sullivan ran its “4th Annual Martin Luther King Middle School Hoops Tournament” on Presidents’ Day instead.

Each of the twelve teams - an assortment of elementary schools and youth basketball programs from throughout the Chicago region - played strong competitive basketball during this day long double elimination tournament.

For the second year in a row, Triumph Sports Academy, took home the 1st Place trophy.

The RPBG covered the $5000 price to sponsor this free tournament, and RPBG members individually sponsored each of the 12 teams. 

Watch the video to learn more about this wonderful event.