Cook County Adds New Incentive Class for Commercial Property

November 17, 2014

by Steve Caton

The Cook County Board of Commissioners recently added a new incentive class to specifically benefit commercial properties. The Class 7c Commercial Urban Relief Eligibility (“CURE”) incentive is designed to stimulate commercial real estate development that might not otherwise be possible.

(“CURE”) is a new five-year commercial property tax Incentive in Cook County that is targeted to help commercial property owners throughout the county by reducing a property’s tax burden by essentially 60% for three years; 40% in year 4 and 20% in year 5 of the Incentive period. This new Incentive reduces a property’s assessment level from 25% of market value to 10% for three years before it increases to 15% in year 4 and 20% in year 5. This five year Incentive is renewable for one additional five year period.

As with other Cook County incentives, the municipality in which the property is located must pass a resolution or ordinance supporting the 7c application. The municipality must deem the site a redevelopment priority, and find that the 7c incentive is necessary for the development to occur on that site.

Properties applying for a 7c incentive must demonstrate that the property’s assessed valuation or real estate taxes have declined or remained stagnant over the past six years due to the depressed condition of the property; that there is a reasonable expectation that the development is viable and likely to proceed; that the 7c incentive is necessary for the development to occur; and that the 7c incentive will ultimately result in increased property tax revenue and employment opportunities at the property.

How Does a Property Qualify?
Commercial property qualifies for a Class 7c Incentive if there is new construction, substantial rehabilitation or occupation of abandoned property that has been vacant and unused for greater than 12 continuous months. In addition, an applicant must secure a Resolution/Ordinance from the municipality in which the property is located supporting and consenting to the Class 7c Incentive, and must file this Resolution/Ordinance along with a Class 7c Eligibility Application with Cook County. The County will review each Application and make a finding stating whether the conditions of the Class 7c Incentive have been satisfied, including the following four mandatory eligibility factors: 1) A ‘Real Estate Tax Analysis’ showing that the assessed value, equalized assessed value or taxes on the subject property have declined or remained stagnant due to the depressed condition; 2) A showing of ‘Viability and Timeliness’ of the project/development; 3) ‘Assistance and Necessity’- a showing that the project/development will not occur without the Incentive and that the Incentive will assist in the development/project; 4) A showing that the project/development will reasonably result in ‘Increased Tax Revenue and Employment.

A 7c application must be submitted to both the Assessor and the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development (“CCBED”) with all necessary supporting data. The CCBED and Assessor will then review the application and supporting material to determine whether the application meets the standards for the 7c incentive.

Hopefully, this will help areas of Cook County that need redevelopment, but cannot compete with neighboring counties with lower taxes to be more competitive.

Click HERE for the official press release on this incentive

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