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national   /   April 15, 2019

Paul Bubny
By: Paul Bubny

New Assessments May Mean Sticker Shock for Chicago Landlords

Cook County’s new assessor is shifting the property-tax burden onto commercial buildings by valuing them based on real market sales and income data, Crain’s Chicago Business reported. Since higher property taxes are typically passed on to tenants, that could dilute one of Chicago office landlords’ main selling points: the low expense of renting space here, relative to other cities.

Outside Chicago, another Cook County office market, Evanston, saw assessments more than double for some properties, Crain’s reported. Evanston is among the first Cook County townships to be reassessed under the new system introduced by Assessor Fritz Kaegl.

Downtown Chicago properties will be reassessed in 2021. If the hypothetical example of the Willis Tower is any indication, landlords may face sticker shock, according to a study by property tax law firm O’Keefe Lyons & Hynes.

“This is going to be a bit of a bumpy ride,” said the firm’s Elizabeth Gracie.

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Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism.
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