The role of the Cook County assessor is to determine the value of taxable properties in the county for tax purposes. Other responsibilities of the assessor include working with other government agencies to stimulate the local economy and providing education about property assessment and affordable housing.
The Cook County assessor also works to increase job production, build affordable housing and teach residents how to use money-saving exemptions. As of 2015, recent accomplishments of the assessor's office include bringing property value assessments to fair market value, creating a website with more interactive and educational tools for taxpayers, streamlining the assessment process and providing more exemptions for homeowners, as stated by the assessor's website.
As part of the initiative to educate property owners about the assessment process, the assessor's office holds outreach events throughout Cook County. Many of these events teach the public how to appeal assessments.
The Cook County assessor uses a mass appraisal system wherein he values multiple properties in the same neighborhood with similar attributes rather than assessing them individually. The assessment takes into account sales of comparable properties, square footage, construction type and building use. The assessor reassesses each property once every three years. His office then provides each property owner with a detailed account of the factors leading to the assessment and instructions on how to file an appeal.