The Cook County Assessor’s Office has recently begun mailing invitation letters to solicit participation in its Real Property Income and Expense (“RPIE”) system. The goal of the system is to collect extensive data to assess commercial properties in Cook County. It utilizes both an online portal and mailed forms for data collection. The Assessor will target properties used for the following purposes: commercial, industrial, residential apartments, mixed use, and special condominiums.
If you receive an invitation letter, please do not respond or provide information to the Assessor’s office. Your legal representative will determine if an appeal of your property tax valuation is beneficial and will complete and submit the RPIE form on your behalf if required. The RPIE form is not mandatory and will not impact your ability to appeal.
Submission of an RPIE form without advice of counsel may be a risk to your property tax appeal. The form solicits various information, such as income from real estate and business, operating expenses, appraisals, rent rolls, leases, utility bills, and photographs. This information is kept by the Assessor for an undisclosed and potentially indefinite amount of time with the possibility that disclosed information may be used against you in a future tax appeal. Furthermore, there may be a risk of identification and unintentional disclosure of your private information.
For the above reasons, we encourage you to promptly consult with real estate tax counsel if you receive a RPIE invitation letter and to assist with your taxes.
What You Need to Know
- There are no legal consequences for refusing to file an RPIE
- Filing of an RPIE letter does not initiate an appeal of your property tax
- Voluntary submission of private information may result in significant risks
- An example of the RPIE form is found here