By Adam E. Bossov, Esq., Attorney, Law Offices of Adam E. Bossov, PC

The 2024 triennial property reassessments in Cook County have led to unpredictable and unfair results, with many of the property owners receiving inaccurate assessments. This article discusses the implications of these reassessments and the overall flaws in the assessment system.  Additionally, it highlights the importance of the Senior Freeze Exemption for eligible seniors.

2024 Triennial Property Taxes

In Cook County, the new 2024 triennial reassessments are out for properties in West Township, which includes Chicago’s west side and west loop area and things are all over the place.

I am still baffled by what has happened.

Many clients with historically low assessments continue to remain low, many clients who did receive assessment increases did not receive enough (sorry), and then many clients received assessment reductions from 2021 to 2024 for which they are not entitled (sorry again).

In other words, some continued to stay low when they shouldn’t, many with increases did not receive enough, and many who should have remained the same or increased got reductions that are not warranted.

We are in the process of sorting this out for all of our clients with property in West Township and please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any new properties that you would like us to review.

The net effect of all this is, assuming that the same level of incompetency is implemented on the new assessments for the rest of Chicago, is that our system is going to continue to be skewed, unpredictable and unfair.

On a related note, the new 2023 Cook County equalization factor of 3.0163 has been announced and you will be seeing this on all of the tax bills due this fall.

This number is up from 2.9237 in 2022 and 3.0027 in 2021. The equalization factor is, in essence, a measure of how competent the assessments are. And, as of late, they have not been that good. The equalization factor measures the difference between the assessment of a property that sold and what the assessment should have been based on the sales price.

When the Assessor is doing a good job, the assessment he has in place should line up with what the assessment should be given the sales price.

As the numbers pertaining to actual and should get farther apart, the equalization factor increases.

The problem is that this factor is then applied county-wide and can increase the tax bills of properties that are properly assessed.

As an example of this, remember in 2020 when the Assessor prematurely began reducing homeowner assessments to account for perceived reductions in value due to Covid, only to see the market boom back. As a result of this, properties with lowered assessments that sold had their lowered assessment compared to their higher sales price, and this inflated difference caused the equalizer to jump to 3.2234 (the highest ever), which then resulted in the rest of us paying higher taxes.

Again, no one knows what they are doing over there but it is not good.

“Senior Freeze” on Property Taxes

Lastly, in light of some of the increases that have and will hit residential property in Chicago, now may be the time to apply for a Senior Freeze.

This is different than the regular Homeowner and Senior Citizen Exemptions, which provide a set dollar reduction to a tax bill per exemption. The Senior Freeze Exemption freezes a property’s base year assessment and thereafter reduces any future increases.

The trick here, and this is where the most confusion occurs, is that the exemption does not help if values go down or stay the same. An applicant will not benefit from this exemption if they buy at the height of the market before a downturn.

On the other hand, people who applied during the 1990’s or after 2008 or before the 2021 boom will now reap the rewards of having this exemption in place.

To qualify for the Senior Freeze, the applicant must be over 65 years of age and have less than $65,000 of household annual income.

Go to to review other qualifications and to apply.

Please reach out if you would like us to review the assessment for a house, multi-unit, commercial or industrial-type property that is not in our tracking system.

We are always available for consultations, which should especially be done before any purchase is made or before any change to a property is considered as even something that most people would consider to be a minor change to a property can have sizable results.

Please also contact us if there is just something about your assessment that you feel needs to be noted and discussed.

I may be reached at either or 312-421-7232 or 312-401-0995. Karen may be reached at 312-826-0491. We also share