August 11, 2011
CHICAGO – The full market value of real estate in Cook County was approximately $550.1 billion in tax assessment year 2009 according to an annual estimate released today by the Civic Federation. This total value represents a decline of $66.0 billion, or 10.7%, from the 2008 estimated full value. Tax year 2009 is the most recent year for which data is available. This estimated decline follows on the heels of a $40.3 billion decrease the previous year.
“The estimated full value of real estate in Cook County peaked at $666.2 billion in 2006 and was down $116.1 billion from that peak in assessment year 2009,” said Civic Federation Vice President Lise Valentine. Tax year 2007 was the first year since at least 1995 that the estimated full value of real estate in the City of Chicago declined.
In Chicago the estimated full market value of real estate fell by 9.8% in 2009. It fell by 9.9% in the southwest Cook County suburbs and 12.7% in the northwest suburbs. Between 2000 and 2006 the estimated full value in Chicago had doubled from $162.6 billion to $329.8 billion. Between 2006 and 2009 it declined by 15.0% to $280.3 billion.
The Civic Federation estimates the full market value of taxable Cook County real estate using two data sources: the total assessed value of property as reported by the Cook County Assessor’s Office and the median level of assessment reported by the Illinois Department of Revenue. The Illinois Department of Revenue collects data on property sales and calculates the ratio of assessed values to sales values. That data is used to compute the mean assessment-to-sales ratio, or the median level of assessment.
The Civic Federation estimates the full value of property by dividing the median level of assessment into the total assessed value of each class of property in Cook County. For those classes for which the Department of Revenue does not calculate a median level of assessment, the level set by County ordinance is used. The estimate does not include railroad properties or properties that are exempt from real estate taxes.
As real estate sales have slowed in recent years, the Department of Revenue has had fewer data points to use for calculating median assessment/sales ratios. For example, there were fewer than 25 useable sales of Class 5b industrial property in each of the three assessment districts for 2009, so the Department could not accurately calculate median ratios by triennial reassessment district for that type of property. “These are our best estimates with the available data,” said Valentine. “Professional appraisals of each of the 1.8 million parcels may provide a more accurate total of the County’s real estate value, but would be difficult and costly to collect.”