Im­proved meth­ods of valu­ing homes means ‘sticker shock’ for some, de­clines for oth­ers

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - FRONT PAGE - By Hal Dardick

With all res­i­den­tial prop­erty re­assess­ments now mailed out in Chicago, home­own­ers across the city are see­ing dra­matic changes in the es­ti­mated value that will be used to de­ter­mine their prop­erty tax bill next year.

Im­proved meth­ods of valu­ing sin­gle-fam­ily homes, com­pounded by rapidly shift­ing hous­ing prices in some ar­eas, have trig­gered “sticker shock” in af­flu­ent or gen­tri­fy­ing neigh­bor­hoods like North Cen­ter and Lo­gan Square, where the me­dian as­sessed value of res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties was boosted by as much as 50 per­cent and many in­di­vid­ual as­sess­ments rose even more.

At the same time, a num­ber of ar­eas with less ex­pen­sive hous­ing — such as En­gle­wood and New City — saw nearly equal de­clines in the asses­sor’s me­dian value es­ti­mates.

The new as­sess­ment meth­ods were de­vel­oped to ad­dress long­stand­ing prob­lems ex­posed last year by the Tri­bune, which found that the Cook County asses­sor’s of­fice un­der Joseph Ber­rios tended to over­es­ti­mate the value of sin­gle-fam­ily homes in poor or work­ing-class neigh­bor­hoods while un­der­es­ti­mat­ing the value of homes in wealth­ier ar­eas. Those prob­lems put a dis­pro­por­tion­ate

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