Consistent Property Taxes

According to many owners, multifamily buildings are subject to erratic and unpredictable increases in property taxes. In some parts of Cook County, multifamily housing is overburdened with property taxes due to scarcity of other real estate value.

In 2008, Cook County began a phased reduction in assessment levels for multifamily rental properties. 2011 is the first year in which multifamily properties are assessed at the same level as all other residential buildings—10%.

Cook County Class 9 Property Alert!

It has come to our attention that some Class 9 properties have been changed to Class 3 status, which has SIGNIFICANTLY increased their assessed values – some values have doubled or tripled. According to the Assessor’s Office, this change occurred because owners did not submit appropriate annual affidavits in 2015 and/or 2016 and/or are missing new affidavits issued in October 2017. Even if you think you submitted these documents, please click here for more information and instructions.

Chicago’s Property Tax Increase

Most recently, the City of Chicago proposed property tax increases that will have an effect on affordable rental housing. Click here for a fact sheet.

Existing Property Tax Abatement. Housing Opportunity Tax Incentive Act (HOTIA) provides a property tax reduction to owners who provide rental housing through tenant-based or project-based vouchers in eligible, economically stable areas. Click here for a fact sheet.


The Preservation Compact convened a working group to identify ways to make the property tax system more fair and consistent for rental buildings.

Appeals. Owners of affordable multifamily rental properties should appeal their property taxes. The Assessor uses a market-based approach based on sales comparables to assess the value of a property. If an owner appeals, the Assessor can evaluate the income and expenses of the property and more accurately assess the value. The Preservation Compact created a guide to appeals for multifamily owners and created a list of consultants and attorneys who can help owners appeal.