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D219 Hires Law Firm to Fight Owners Seeking Property Tax Reduction

Administrators say actual increase in taxes will be lower.

The Niles Township High School District 219 school board agreed Monday night to continue working with other school districts and other taxing bodies in Niles Township to fight efforts from property owners to get refunds on their property taxes.

The school board agreed to authorize the law firm Franczek Radelet P.C. to act on behalf of the Niles Township Property Tax Appeals Cooperative in challenging appeals filed for assessment years 2010-11 before the Cook County Board of Review, and to pay the cooperative more than $35,000 for work done on behalf of the district so far.

That includes fighting property tax appeals filed by dozens of property owners. While some are individual homeowners, most are commercial properties, and several would cost the district more than $100,000 if they are successful.

Earlier:

Both actions were on the district’s consent agenda, which was approved without discussion. In the background materials provided to school board members, Superintendent Nanciann Gatta wrote, “I believe the effort of the Niles Township Property Tax Appeals Cooperative is saving the district hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax refunds that would have otherwise been granted.”

District 219 includes and high schools.

The refunds would come if the Illinois Property Tax Appeals Board agreed with the property owners that their properties are not worth as much as the Cook County Assessor said they were. Because appeals are not granted until after the tax extension has been decided and property tax bills have been sent out, the money that would have to be refunded would come out of tax revenue the district was counting on getting, and the district would have no way to make that shortfall up.

Some of the largest possible losses could have come with the proposed reassessment of the Inland Shops at Orchard Place, 9601 N. Skokie Blvd. in Skokie. The shopping center’s owners wanted a more than $2.4 million reduction in its assessed value. That would cost District 219 $145,764. It also would cost  Skokie Elementary District 68 $133,146, and the Skokie Park District and Public Library District each more than $25,856.

Owners of the W.W. Grainger property at 5959 W. Howard in Niles are seeking to reduce their assessment by $2.1 million; that would cost District 219 $128,197. It would also cost Fairview South Elementary District 72 $96,239, according to the reports presented to the school board.

Donald India January 21, 2012 at 10:42 PM
NO. You are not correct. This might be difficult for everyone to understand but SD219 IS ENTITLED TO THE MONEY. The voters determined the SD219 tax rate by referendum. If the voters did not want SD219 to use the tax rate then the referendum should have been defeated. Until there is a referendum to lower the tax rate, SD219 will ALWAYS be entitled to the current year revenue PLUS the current cost of living increase as the maximum they request for the next year. I have no gripe agaginst individual tax payers or retail or commercial property owners making sure their assessment is correct. I have a problem with the county changing the total EAV of the township thru reassessments and therefore RAISING MY tax rate and TAXES next year to make up for the reassessment they awarded others. If the county did their job, then everyone could plan on a maximum of the COL for SD219 and the elementary district. But with the fluctuations of the EAV, many pay more than the COL percentage. So good for SD219 for trying to make sure the residents of the district are being treated fairly.
Deadcatbounce January 21, 2012 at 11:39 PM
SD219 IS ENTITLED TO THE MONEY.  Hey, I'm entitled to my money too.  My paycheck each month is only 60% what my boss told me I would get.  On top of that I have to pay for all sorts of additional taxes and fees for services and stuff I don't want.  Every time I turn around someone is always asking for more of my money.  I can't even afford to hire a lawyer and stop this.  I also heard that I probably won't see any of the my social security money that they took from me.  HELP, I'm entitled and want to be treated fairly.
David Zornig January 22, 2012 at 04:07 AM
Mr. India, you seem to agree that the County is the culprit. So how can you endorse legal action against fellow taxpayers, for simply exercising their rights? Yet you say have no gripe with them. You can't have it both ways. Why isn't D219 suing the County instead? If the County is the one who needs to change the system? It's obvious that the referendum was created with a total ignorance & denial, of a real estate landscape that could ever fully pay for it. Were any large appeals to ever be requested & granted down the road. Property values have steadily declined since at least 2008. Just because it was voted on, didn't miraculously make land values change to achieve it. If the money's not there, it's not there. Entitlement to it, is really moot after that. Things change. That should have been anticipated by both the County & D219. It is completely irresponsible of D219 to use taxpayer money to fight taxpayers. I'm sorry that you can't see that. BTW, reassessments are not "awarded" to others. They are a right to all, when requested.
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