What is the Class 7c Incentive? The Class 7c Incentive or Commercial Urban Relief Eligibility (“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.
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.’
Where Does the Class 7C Incentive Apply? Unlike the current Class 7a and 7b Incentives which, in addition to other mandatory eligibility factors, require the location of the property within a specifically designated area, the Class 7c Incentive can be located anywhere throughout Cook County.
The Class 7c Incentive is a new way for commercial property owners in Cook County to reduce their taxes and stay competitive. This new Incentive is just another way Cook County is working to help property owners, just like it has already done with the expanded Class 6b Incentive.
Zachary A. Kafitz and James B. Sarnoff are Attorneys with SARNOFF & BACCASH, a Chicago law firm that concentrates in property taxation.