Chicagoans Ax Their Property Taxes

Eduardo Tobon appealed the taxes on his Winnetka, Ill., home, saving $1,370 a year. PHOTO: CALLIE LIPKIN FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Eduardo Tobon appealed the taxes on his Winnetka, Ill., home, saving $1,370 a year. PHOTO: CALLIE LIPKIN FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

The Wall Street Journal quotes Rachel Weber, GCI faculty fellow and associate professor of urban planning and policy, on the likelihood of errors in property tax assessments of homes that are unusual in a given market. Weber co-authored a report that found that homes where there are fewer comparable homes are more likely to win an appeal.

Homeowners in luxury housing markets may actually have a better chance of winning an appeal. There are fewer of these homes relative to the overall market, and many of them are customized with high-end finishes that make assessments difficult.

“The more idiosyncratic the house, the more chance for error there is in the assessment,” said Rachel Weber, an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She and her colleague, Daniel McMillen, co-wrote a report that found that homes in “thinner markets”—ones where there are fewer comparable homes to form a basis for taxation—are more likely to win an appeal.

Full Story from The Wall Street Journal »

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