Much of the Cook County Assessor’s work is accomplished using digital tools. However, the data used to arrive at an accurate valuation of your property is often not available to the appraiser in its final form.
26 June 22 – Assessing true real estate values in Chicago and throughout Cook County is truly an inexact science and a challenge.
Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi readily admits his field team, which helps maintain the residential features of 1.2 million properties, cannot legally enter the homes and therefore “must make educated guesses” about interior features, upgrades and appointments .
Who knows how many thousands of houses and two apartments in Chicago have basements, attics, garages and apartments with illegal kitchens and bathrooms dating from before the end of World War II?
The appraiser’s team readily admits that they cannot be realistically staffed to knock on every residential property door in Cook County each year and instead rely on home improvement permits to trigger site visits. .
“Permission is an incomplete process at best – some home improvements are done without permission, and some permits don’t accurately represent work in progress,” according to a new Open Data Portal recently opened by the assessor.
Much of the work of appraiser staff is accomplished using digital tools, including the Automated assessment model. AVM is associated with package universe to enable convenient spatial analysis and mapping of sales, which can be joined to historical estimated values for ratio studies, notes the Open Data Portal.
It’s no wonder, then, that Assessor Kaegi says his data service cannot currently guarantee that historical and current plot values match what’s presented on his website. As a result, the data used to arrive at an accurate assessment is often not available to data staff in its final form.
“We hope to soon be able to confirm the accuracy of the data we make available here versus what is available on the website,” according to the Open Data Report.
In an effort to ensure government transparency, Kaegi recently posted millions of rows of data to the Cook County Open Data Portal. The Assessor’s Office datasets can be viewed and downloaded online at 2022 Open Data Refresh.
The data for each property contains the following:
• Values assessed from 1999 to 2021.
• Transaction and sales data.
• Location data, such as the school district in which the property is located and distances to amenities, including the nearest L station or park.
• Physical characteristics of houses and condominiums.
These datasets will be automatically updated periodically with new information as it is entered. iasWorldthe Office of the Assessor’s modernized assessment registration system.
“Since the start of my administration, I have prioritized transparency and data integrity,” Kaegi (left) said. “The release of this historic valuation data demonstrates my commitment to these values.”
Kaegi, who is running for re-election, has been targeted and criticized by large commercial building owners and apartment developers for refocusing appraisal efforts on them – and away from landlords, who bear the bulk of the tax burden for decades.
Kaegi’s opponent is Kari Steelepresident of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.
Homeowners who think they are overvalued should file an appeal, advises an expert property assessment lawyer Michael Griffin. Visit the appraiser’s website or call 312-443-7550 to find comparable properties or start the appeal process.