Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi is working with Illinois State Senator Toi Hutchinson (40th District) to pass legislation that would require owners of most types of income-producing property to submit data about the income those properties generate. The purpose is to give the assessor more information so the office can comprehensively assess the value of property in Cook County.

Kaegi had announced that he would pursue this legislation in the first 100 days of office.

The state law, Senate Bill 1379, would apply only in Cook County but allow other counties to adopt the same rule.

According to the proposed legislation, “income producing property” means property owned for the sake of generating revenue. It excludes owner-occupied properties and the following property types:

  • apartment buildings with six or fewer dwelling units (the legislation doesn’t address how an apartment building with six or fewer dwelling units and with a commercial storefront or office would be considered)

  • any property assessed at $100,000 or less in the previous assessment year

  • farms

Properties that span multiple parcels or PINs that are a single “functional property location” are not exempted, even if one or more of the parcels has an assessed value of $100,000 or less.

In collaboration with Chicago Cityscape, we found that there are at least 52,183 parcels that have an assessed value greater than $100,000 and are not apartment buildings with six or fewer units. This brief analysis didn’t include individual parcels that, when grouped together, have an assessed value greater than $100,000.

Property owners would be able to show the property’s income by submitting “federal income tax returns related to income producing property, such as Internal Revenue Service Schedule E or Schedule 8825, annual reports, rent rolls, and certified or uncertified annual income and expense statements reflecting revenue and costs…”

The legislation would also authorize the Assessor’s office to incorporate other data in their assessments:

  • income and expense data submitted under this Code

  • sales data

  • property characteristics data (at a talk given by Kaegi’s Chief Data Officer prior to assuming office, this was intended to mean some of the same commercial data that’s available to subscribers of databases like the MLS and similar services)

  • construction cost data

  • appraisals

  • and other valuation information

A penalty for failing to send the required income data would be set at 0.5% of the assessed value in the previous year.