Chicago’s ever-increasing property taxes are by now a part of regional lore. This year, it was the South Side’s turn for some tax craziness. If your taxes are on the rise, here are three steps you can take now.

1. Make sure the Assessor’s office has your house categorized correctly.

Go here and find your home by searching for your address. Check the stats on your home (look up any definitions you don’t know) and make sure the listing doesn’t give your house have an extra floor, bathroom, or other features that would increase your assessed price.

2. Check your neighbor’s home prices.

The assessor’s office tries to base your taxes on what it considers to be comparable homes, but no one can have as good of an idea of which homes are comparable to your house as you do. Home listing websites like Zillow frequently have a filter for “Recently Sold” that you can use over a map of your area to check recent sale prices on similar homes.

3. File your appeal.

Many appeals in Cook County get denied as a matter of course, so be prepared to file a more detailed appeal with backup for why you think your home is overvalued. If you’ve missed your appeal window for this year, get your ducks in a row for next year so you can apply right away when the window opens again.

We hope these tips will help you lower your property taxes for next year. If you still aren’t sure how to proceed, you may want to get in touch with a qualified attorney.

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