Thursday, May 13, 2010
Let’s recall that I’ve been stubbornly appealing my property taxes for months now, filing appeal after appeal, and it all culminated in a trip downtown over a month ago to the Board of Appeals, the final arbiter of such things. And, bloated government inefficiency notwithstanding, that was such a pleasant experience with such nice and friendly people that I walked out of there feeling as if I had done everything I could, but if I didn’t get a further reduction, I’d be okay with that.
Flash forward to today. The mail comes in, and there’s a thin envelope from the Board. I ponder whether a thin envelope is good news or bad, remind myself that this isn’t college acceptance time, then gingerly open the dang thing partway. First catching the words “this assessment is based on comparable properties” – which isn’t good as that's their usual excuse as to why you shouldn't get a reduction, when they find the lone house that's assessed higher than you. But then I see the magic word: “reduction”!!! I then actually open the letter to read it rather than trying to make out what it says by holding it up to the light, and lo and behold, I win! I WIN!!!!! Well, that’s how I view it at least. My assessment is still more than it was before, but only marginally rather than by a huge amount. AND I’m back to less than my yuppie neighbors, with their house that’s worth over twice what mine is. Sa-wheet!!!
Of course, I have no idea what the hell this actually means for my taxes. Really, it’s true. And that’s not my fault. In Chicago they have a number of ways to tinker with property taxes to make sure you pay more – special temporary caps, changing the multipliers and percentages of various things that go into the formula, etc. So I’ll still almost certainly be paying more than I am now – but at least it’ll be less than the more it would have been before.
Naturally, I run to tell the one who has the most invested in this monumental verdict:
“Koney!” I scream, while dancing around the house. “Kona, look! This means Momma can keep you in pig ears! In the style to which you’re accustomed! All hail the Board of Appeals!”
I think he was pleased.