Many landlords are grousing that Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi has jacked up their assessments this year, paving the way for big tax hikes in 2020. But some can't gripe too much.
It could have been worse for TGM Associates, a New York investor that paid $118 million79彩票注册网址 for a 347-unit apartment building next to the Edens Expressway in Northbrook in September 2018. In 2019, the assessor valued the property, now known as TGM NorthShore, at just $92.3 million.
The assessor also spared Guardian Realty Management, a Brooklyn investment firm that paid $40.8 million in October 2018 for a 205,000-square-foot office building in northwest suburban Arlington Heights. Kaegi's office valued the property at $22.3 million, slightly more than half the sale price.
Then there's a nondescript data center in Northlake, just east of Interstate 294. One of the world's biggest data-center owners, San Francisco-based Digital Realty Trust, paid $315 million for the property in December 2017. But the assessor valued it last year at just $55.9 million, less than one-fifth that price. In residential terms, that's the equivalent of a house that recently sold for $1 million being valued at $178,000 by the assessor.
79彩票注册网址Yet those values still weren't low enough for the investors. They all filed appeals to chop their assessments down even more.
Step through the looking glass into the upside-down world of Cook County commercial real estate assessments, where what looks like a lucky break to the average person is an act of unfair government overreach to landlords and their tax appeals attorneys.
Kaegi has disrupted that world by hiking the assessed values79彩票注册网址 used to calculate commercial property taxes. But an analysis of the 50 biggest recent commercial property sales in northern Cook County shows that the assessor's higher values for most of the properties still fell short of their sale price, sometimes by a lot.
The comparisons suggest that Kaegi's push to improve the accuracy of the county's assessment process is far from complete. Elected on a reform agenda last year, the former money manager replaced Joe Berrios, who was widely criticized for underassessing commercial properties and being too cozy with the property tax appeals attorneys who represent big landlords. Kaegi began the three-year reassessment process in 2019, starting with north Cook County suburbs, followed by the south suburbs in 2020 and the city of Chicago in 2021.
79彩票注册网址Kaegi is moving the office in the right direction, but "it's a lot like turning a battleship around," says Peter Davis, a property valuation official at the Kansas Department of Revenue.
79彩票注册网址The battleship has been taking a lot of fire since Kaegi's office started releasing north suburban assessments in early 2019. The total assessed value of all industrial and commercial real estate, including apartments, in north suburban Cook rose 74.4 percent from 2018, versus a 15.6 percent increase for residential property.
More of the property tax burden has shifted onto apartment, office and other landlords as a result, lightening the load for homeowners. Kaegi says that's not his goal, but many landlords don't believe him: He's a redistributionist disguised as a reformer, they say.
"He has an agenda," says Stuart Handler, CEO of Chicago-based TLC Management, an apartment owner.
Yet Crain's research contradicts the popular narrative among landlords that Kaegi's office has overshot the market with its recent assessments. The analysis began with a list of 50 commercial properties in northern Cook County that sold for the highest prices in the two years ended Dec. 13, based primarily on sales data gathered from the county recorder's office.
79彩票注册网址Crain's then compared those sale prices with their property's values as estimated by Kaegi's office, figures pulled from the assessor's website. Of the 50 properties, the assessor valued 31, or more than 60 percent, below their recent sale prices.7072彩票开户 7073彩票地址 963彩票开户 7073彩票网址 689彩票邀请码 7073彩票注册 8炫彩彩票app 677彩票开户 7073彩票登录 66顺彩票app