Almost 30 percent fewer property owners filed tax appeals in 2020 than the year before, and the reason is a source of debate.

Nearly 30 percent fewer Cook County property owners filed appeals with the Cook County assessor’s office last year than in 2019, even as the county’s Board of Review braces for a familiar surge of taxpayers contesting their assessments.

County Assessor Fritz Kaegi lauded the sharp downward trend in requests to his office as a sign that more homeowners than ever trust the accuracy of his team’s valuations. But some real estate professionals believe the opposite: that disillusioned property owners have lost faith in Kaegi’s methods and are simply taking their chances with the more binding Board of Review instead.

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