Q&A: Hiring a Tax Attorney

Q. As a condo association in Illinois, do we have a fiduciary duty to hire a property tax attorney in an effort to lower our assessed valuations? If successful, each owner would pay a percentage of the first year’s savings.  

     —Seeking Advice on Assessments

A. According to attorneys Timothy Jacobs and Jessica Ryan of the law firm Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit, which has offices in Chicago, Mundelein, Naperville, and Racine: “The prospects for a successful appeal are maximized in a group appeal, inclusive of all units, for a variety of reasons, including:

“1). The Illinois Constitution requires that assessments be uniform. Appealing all units of an association together aids the assessors in ensuring this uniformity of assessment within the association.

“2). Lower sale prices that reduce the market value of one unit will have a similar effect on all other units regardless of type. A group appeal allows the assessors to spread this reduction on all units more easily in a single group appeal.

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