Frequently Asked Questions

Residents of the city of Chicago are eligible to receive a variety of municipal services. Listed below are some of the services and information available through our public service office:

°Alley Lights/Street Lights Repairs°Blue Bag Recycling
°CAPS/Community Policing°Dead Tree Removal
°Garbage Carts and Pickup°Graffiti Removal
°Sewer Cave-in Repairs°Potholes
°Street Signs Replacements°Rodent Control
°Water Leaks Repairs°Tree Trimmings
(in street and on parkway)

If you need any of these services, or if you just have a question about other city services, please call the 39th Ward Service Office at (773) 736-5594.You may not be familiar with some of these services, so let us tell you about them!

Attend your monthly Beat meeting. Call us for the time and location.
CAPS, or Chicago's Alternative Policing Strategy, is a partnership of police, community, and other City agencies. Under CAPS, these partners work together in new ways to identify and solve problems, and to improve the quality of life in Chicago's neighborhoods.
No. The City will not cut down live trees.
Yes. The City will remove any dead trees located on the City parkway or on other City-owned property.
Yes. Just call the public service office.
Call the public service office and a new one will be delivered to you.
No. You are responsible for disposing of construction debris by renting a dumpster and getting required permits.
Large items, such as appliances, old furniture, etc., that do not fit in your cart can be taken with your regular trash pickup. If the item is really large (like a refrigerator) or you want to put out a lot of stuff and you want to double check to see if it will be picked up, please call the ward office.
The City will come out with white paint and paint out the graffiti. Other colors are subject to availability.
No. If Streets and Sanitation notices graffiti on a building, they will leave information at the building about graffiti removal. The owner has five days to remove the graffiti or contact the city, otherwise a city crew will remove the graffiti.
The City provides a service to remove graffiti on private property. Please call the public service office with the address and we will send a crew out to remove it.

Every year, property owners get two chances to appeal the assessed value used to calculate their property taxes: first before the Cook County Assessor, and then to the Cook County Board of Review. If you want to go all out to lower your taxes, you should appeal both times. If you only do one, do the Board of the Review, because they are usually more accommodating to the homeowner. So, our office usually holds a community meeting with the Board of Review when they open up our township for appeals.

It does not hurt to file an appeal with the Assessor's office, and it should take you less than five minutes online here:
http://cookcountyassessor.com/Internet_Appeals/ResidentialAppealsearch.aspx

The Assessor is taking appeals right now. THE DEADLINE TO FILE AN APPEAL WITH THE ASSESSOR IS 9/14/14. Where it asks you for the reason for your appeal, you should at the least check Lack of Uniformity (which means that similar houses are assessed lower than yours), and Overvaluation. You can also check Property Description Error if the way your house is described www.cookcountyassessor.com is inaccurate (for example, if they overstate the square footage of your house), or Property Damage if that applied. You should also click “Other,” and then enter “Airplane Noise,” because the Assessor has said that he is studying the effect of airplane noise on property values, and will take that into account when considering appeals.

The online appeal gives you an opportunity to enter comparable PINs for them to consider. You want to enter similar houses in your which the Assessor has assessed lower (you can search properties by address or range of address at www.cookcountyassessor.com). YOU WANT TO FIND SIMILAR/NEARBY PROPERTIES WHICH HAVE LOWER ASSESSED VALUES, NOT NECESSARILY LOWER TAX BILLS. If you do not wish to invest the time to find comparable properties, just leave that window blank, and the Assessor will randomly select comparables for you.

If you have a recent appraisal, or list of recent home sales which are lower than the Assessor’s estimate of your home value, you should send that in. Keep in mind that only closed sales count (not listing prices or pending sales). Send that in by 9/14, and attach this form to the top of it: http://cookcountyassessor.com/forms/AppealNarrative.pdf

Be sure to take advantage of your opportunity to appeal again to the Board of Review. If you do go through the trouble of researching and putting together supporting documentation, you can use all of the same material when you appeal to the Board of Review. We don't know yet when Jefferson Township (where we live) will open at the Board of Review, but usually it is around December or January. When that happens, our office will hold a public meeting with the Board of Review.

The appeals currently being taken by the Assessor, and by the Board of Review in a couple months, are for the 2015 property tax year, which you will pay in 2016. If your appeal is successful, it will help keep your second installment down next summer.

 

No. The City will not trim trees located on private property.
Yes. The City will trim any trees located on the City parkway or on other City-owned property.