Frequently Asked Questions

Why are my taxes so high?
Your tax bill depends on two factors: (1) the assessment of your property and (2) the amount of money your local taxing districts need to operate during the upcoming year. The assessment of your property is set by county assessing officials. If you live in Cook County, it is the County Assessor. If you live in any other county, it is a township assessor or the supervisor of assessments.
If I feel my assessment is too high, how do I begin the appeal process?
Taxpayers who believe their properties are over-assessed and live in counties other than Cook County should appeal to the local board of review. Call the board of review or supervisor of assessments' offices for filing deadlines each year. See the County Directory for a listing of County Officials. In Cook County, taxpayers can file an appeal with the County Assessor or the County Board of Review. Call these offices and ask for the date for filing an appeal in your township. The County Assessor's taxpayer assistance department may be reached at (312) 443-7550. The Board of Review's telephone number is (312) 443-5542. A taxpayer who is unhappy with the result of an assessment challenge before the board of review can appeal to the PTAB. A petition for appeal to the PTAB must be filed within 30 days of the postmark date of written notice of the board of review's decision, or the postmark date of the written notice of the application of final, adopted township multipliers by the board of review. Your appeal will be rejected if you fail to file on time.
Persons who can file an appeal:
  • Owner of subject property
  • Taxpayer (who has a financial interest in the payment of taxes), dissatisfied with the decision of the Board of Review
  • Illinois licensed attorney
  • Taxing body which has a tax revenue interest in the decision
How do I obtain the forms I need to file an appeal with the PTAB?
Appeal forms are available at the offices of:
  • The Property Tax Appeal Board,
  • Your county board of review, or
  • Your supervisor of assessments or county assessor.
  • Forms are also available on the Forms Page of this site.
Where do I file my appeal forms?
You may file your forms:
  • By mail with the PTAB's offices in Springfield (they will be considered as filed on the date postmarked) or
  • By personal delivery during business hours
NOTE: Petitions or any other type of information or evidence sent by a fax machine will NOT be accepted.
Are there any filing fees with the PTAB?
There is no charge for filing an appeal with the PTAB.
Is payment of my property taxes delayed by an appeal to the PTAB?
No. If you choose to appeal your board of review's decision, the taxes still come due. It is likely the matter will not be decided by the PTAB until after the taxes are to be paid. Therefore, pay them on time.
How long does the process take before the PTAB?
The PTAB hears four types of appeals: residential, commercial, industrial, and farm. In the large commercial and industrial appeals, the parties often need additional time to compile and submit their evidence to the Board. Furthermore, local taxing bodies have the right to intervene in any Board appeal. The entry of intervening parties and any requested extensions of time for the submission of evidence may delay resolution of the appeal. Therefore, the time frame required to resolve such appeals is difficult to project.
What are the grounds for appealing to the PTAB?
There are several grounds for appeal. You may argue one or more of the following before the PTAB:


  • Recent sale of your property or comparable sales

    You must show that you recently purchased the property at arm's length and you paid less than the fair cash value indicated for the property as established by local assessing officials. You must supply copies of the RESPA (or settlement) statement, the real estate transfer declaration, or the contract. Comparable sales data shown on property record cards or property characteristic printouts can also be included. Examples of the required data follow.
  • Appraisal of the subject property

    Although not required, an appraisal of the subject property is generally the best evidence to support value. It should be noted that an appraisal is not a letter of opinion that simply states the appraiser's conclusion of value. Such "opinion letters" do not contain the data used by the appraiser and cannot be independently verified by the PTAB. An appraisal requires an examination of the three approaches to value - the cost, market, an income approaches - and contains information on and analysis of the data relied on by the appraiser to form the opinion of value. If an appraisal is relied on, testimony of the appraiser must be presented if the appraisal is to be given any weight in the Board's decision.
  • Recent construction

    You must show the actual costs incurred in the construction of the property. Supply proper evidence of the price paid for the land as well as the recent construction costs of the building(s) including all labor and contractor related costs.


You must show that comparable or similar properties in your neighborhood have lower assessments than your property. Submit at least THREE comparable properties from your neighborhood with ALL relevant data including copies of property record cards or property characteristic printouts. A comparable property is discussed below.


A brief must be submitted explaining the contention of law you are raising.
What is a comparable property?

A comparable property is one that resembles your property in:

  • LOCATION, such as the same subdivision or neighborhood, and
  • SIZE/AGE, such as 1,800 square feet of living area; 10,000 square feet of land area; 4 years old, and
  • CONSTRUCTION, such as brick, frame, or aluminum siding, and
  • STYLE, such as ranch, split-level, two-story.
How much time do I have to submit evidence to the PTAB?
After your appeal is received by the PTAB, you may request an extension of time to submit evidence for good cause shown.
Can I request an extension of time over the telephone?
No, any requests must be made in writing. When doing so, please make reference to your assigned docket number, if one has been assigned.
How much time does the board of review have to submit evidence?
The board of review is notified of your appeal only after you have submitted evidence to call into question your property's assessment. After notification, the board of review will have a maximum of 90 days to submit evidence justifying its assessment of your property, unless the Board approves a longer period of time.
Do I need an attorney to represent me before the PTAB?
An individual taxpayer may represent himself or hire an attorney. PTAB rules prohibit accountants, tax representatives, real estate consultants and others not qualified to practice law from appearing at hearings before the PTAB in a representative capacity. However, such persons may testify and assist taxpayers and attorneys at hearings before the PTAB. Corporations, limited liability companies (LLC), partnerships and other similar entities, and taxing districts shall be represented at all stages before the Property Tax Appeal Board by any person licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois.
How are PTAB decisions issued?

There are two ways the PTAB renders a decision in your appeal:

  1. INFORMAL HEARING - a decision is based upon the written evidence submitted by you and the board of review as well as testimony presented at a hearing. The decision is issued after review of the evidence and testimony at the proceeding. This type of appeal may require a longer period of time before a decision can be rendered.

  2. ON THE EVIDENCE - a decision is based upon the written evidence submitted by you and the board of review. No hearing is required or one or more of the parties has waived a hearing. A decision is issued after review of all the evidence and may be issued within a shorter period of time than a formal hearing of an appeal.

What happens if the PTAB lowers my assessment?
A copy of the PTAB's decision is sent to your county treasurer. By law, the treasurer is required to refund the overpaid taxes. The amount of time needed to process the refund varies from county to county. Contact your treasurer for details.
Do I have to file every year with the PTAB?
No, but if you receive a favorable decision from the PTAB in one year, you should refile for the next assessment year. This is because the PTAB decision affects only the assessment year that you appealed. Furthermore, it is likely your local assessing officials have set your property's assessment for the next year before the PTAB's decision in the prior year was rendered.

Click here for instructions on how to file an appeal from your favorable decision.

What if I lose before the PTAB?
Final decisions of the PTAB are reviewable in the courts under the Administrative Review Law (735 ILCS 5/3-101, et seq.) and 35 ILCS 200/16-195. The administrative review of board decisions process is explained in detail on the Practice and Procedure page of our site.
Can I visit the PTAB office for assistance?
Whenever you use our walk-in assistance, please bring all available information with you, including the notices, letters, or decisions you have received from your local board of review and from the Property Tax Appeal Board to date.
You do not need an appointment to take advantage of this service, but if you have a complex issue that may require some time to resolve, please make prior arrangements so we are prepared to give you the help you need. To set up an appointment, visit our Office Locations page for contact information.


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Please take notice the information provided on this website is for reference purposes only and does not, in any way, purport to render legal opinions or other related advice.