Last Friday the Illinois Department of Revenue released the final 2016 Cook County equalization factor, which will be used to calculate the second installment property tax bills that are anticipated to be due in August 2017. The multiplier for tax year 2016 is 2.8032.

As the following chart demonstrates, the 2016 equalization factor rose after trending downward in prior years.

Click here to view table.

The Department of Revenue’s press release also shows downward trending assessment levels for single family homes and apartment buildings. While the assessment level specified in the County’s ordinance is 10% of fair market value, the Department of Revenue's assessment/sales ratio studies show the three-year average assessment level for these two types of properties is 9.83% and 7.8%, respectively. The press release from the Illinois Department of Revenue is available here.

The Property Tax Code requires the Department to issue a multiplier that, when applied to the assessed value of all property in a county (except for specially assessed property such as farmland), will result in the aggregate assessed value of all property in the County being 33.33% of the property’s fair cash value. This equalization of assessed values is accomplished by comparing recorded sales prices to assessed values for the three prior years, and it is done in an effort to implement property tax limitations and certain state funding programs fairly.