A recent ruling by the Lake County Board of Review affects how you appeal your property assessment!
On Monday, I attended the Board of Review meeting to discuss a proposed rule change regarding who may represent you on your property appeal.
I listened as many residents, real estate brokers, and appraisers urged the BOR to vote against the rule that, in order to appeal their property assessments, homeowners must either represent themselves or hire a lawyer. While some attorneys spoke in favor of the proposed change, the vast majority of the public spoke for almost two hours in favor of homeowners retaining their right to choose their representative.
The Board of Review voted unanimously to accept the proposed change in light of the Lake County State's Attorney's opinion that appearance by a non-attorney in front of the Board of Review constitutes the Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL).
I worked in the Shields Township Assessor's Office and am keenly aware that there are many residents who find the appeal process confusing, and therefore rely on the help of real estate brokers and other professionals to appeal their assessments. I am very concerned that residents, especially seniors and those with limited time and resources, will now find it too difficult to appeal their property assessments, even if they are being over-assessed.
I am closely following this situation and will work with the Lake County Assessor's Office on the commitment to hold frequent, local, and free events throughout Lake County to help homeowners complete the required appeal forms.