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County error sends condo owner's property tax bill soaring

Michael and Carrie Ensign outside their condo in Roscoe Village. An error on their Cook County property taxes was finally fixed after the Problem Solver got involved. (Alex Garcia/Tribune) (December 5, 2010)

Michael and Carrie Ensign outside their condo in Roscoe Village. An error on their Cook County property taxes was finally fixed after the Problem Solver got involved. (Alex Garcia/Tribune) (December 5, 2010)


Assessment soars 300 percent, to $834,770 from $209,444, due to 'transcription' glitch It doesn't take a rocket scientist, or a real estate agent, to know property values aren't exactly soaring in today's troubled housing market.



So you can imagine Michael Ensign's surprise when he opened his most recent property tax bill to find his two-bedroom condo in Chicago's Roscoe Village neighborhood had a slight jump in value.

According to the Cook County Assessor's office, the 1,445-square-foot condo was worth $209,444 in 2008. Its value in 2009? A whopping $834,770.

The impact on Ensign's taxes was predictably harsh. Last year, he paid $2,287.42 for his second-installment tax bill. This year's second installment was a heart-stopping $9,593.31.

After picking his jaw up off the floor, Ensign began the frustrating task of trying to convince the county there had been a mistake. Ensign said he was told the reassessment had been conducted a year ago and his time to appeal the decision had long since passed.

His only option, he was told, was to pay the $9,593.31 by the Dec. 13 due date, then appeal later. If he won his appeal, the county would issue a "certificate of error," then refund the overpayment, a process that could take months.

Source



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