NEWS CHICAGO: COVID-19 May Impact Real Estate Market Value:
All Properties in Cook County Will be Re-Assessed, County Assessor Fritz Kaegi Cites
COVID-19 May Impact Real Estate Market Value: All Properties in Cook County Will be Re-Assessed, County Assessor Fritz Kaegi Cites
All properties will be assessed this year as Cook County adjusts to rippling effects imparted from COVID19. As originally reported by WBEZ, Chicago NPR affiliate, Claudia Morrell, Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi, had stopped the rolling valuations that the County executes on a third of properties annually as he realized the profound impact on the real estate market from COVID19. Property assessment and valuation was a prominent issue of Kaegi’s platform as he has long sought equitable valuations with transparent data. 
Kaegi takes on this groundbreaking endeavor, which furthers the initiatives he has long supported and eases burdens to all real estate owners including commercial and residential landlords. 
“Kaegi says the sweeping reassessments are necessary as the coronavirus wreaks havoc on the economy. Commercial landlords are expected to see a significant reduction in rental income, as stores and restaurants remain closed. Similarly, residential landlords face uncertainty in their ability to collect rent as unemployment numbers reach record highs.” 
Further Kaegi notes,
“‘Our job is to estimate the market value of real estate and the crisis has a significant effect on many kinds of real estate,’ Kaegi told WBEZ.” Id.
To understand the impact of this announcement, we contacted, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Midwest Chapter President Joseph Calvanico FRICS, MAI. RICS is a globally recognized organization, dedicated to upholding “the highest qualifications and standards in the development and management of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. The work of RICS professionals is hugely varied…” 
Mr. Calvanico offered the following quote,
“This is truly a momentous change in Cook County and timely given the anticipated changes coming to the local real estate market. The real estate appraisal community that I represent in RICS will be ready to help all property owners and their legal representatives interpret the results of Mr. Kaegi’s efforts.”
Further offering, if you feel that your property has lost value due to COVID19, Click here, he is abreast of the situation and ready to assist.
Kaegi, Transparency, & Market Valuation
When commenting on the gravity Mr. Kaegi noted, the unprecedented nature adding,
“[I]t has never been done before and could have significant ripple effects in years to come, both for local governments that rely heavily on property tax revenue to fund operations and property owners who would have to pick up the tab. But that impact won’t be known until 2021, when property tax bills based on 2020 values are mailed out.” 
Kaegi further comments on temporary assistance that landlords may have already offered adding,
“[E]ven landlords who have worked out temporary rent reductions or forbearance agreements with tenants could still see their properties credited for losses, an issue that was brought up in conversations with building owners and tenant organizations.” Id.
“‘We know that so many people’s lives have been turned upside down in this crisis,’ Kaegi said. ‘That building owners and tenants are working together, figuring out what accommodations they can make, and we want to make sure that we are being good partners in that process, that we’re reflecting the real circumstances out there that everyone is facing.’” Id.
Kaegi suggests that commercial property owners use this form entitled: Real Property Income and Expense Form, initially designed to address the lack of transparency in valuation within commercial properties. Kaegi will create a commensurate form of residential property owners whose income is determined by tenant rent, The Rent Income Affidavit Form. These will be used during the pandemic appeals process. 
While Kaegi’s efforts initially concerned several residents, the data emerging on transparency and the efficacy of valuations offers further substantiating evidence of the opacity surrounding 1.8 million parcels and 13 townships. These assessed values are critical to a functioning and fair infrastructure where commercial and residential participants are assessed accurately. Kaegi describes this need by explaining data integrity.
“[A] jargon-y way of saying that the information about properties that forms the basis for assessments should be as accurate and in-depth as possible.” 
Assessments equate to the coordinating tax burden, the higher the property is valued, the larger the tax burden. Per Cook County Ordinance, while there are other ratios, most residential properties are taxed 10% and most commercial /industrial properties are taxed at 25% of the market value estimated by the assessor.   Interested in reading more about property tax, see my notes on Scribd. 
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