Jacob Shapiro and Justin Strane Named to the 2018 Illinois Rising Stars List

We are pleased to announced that Jacob Shapiro and Justin Strane have been selected to the 2018 Illinois Rising Stars list. This marks the second consecutive year Jacob and Justin have been selected to the Rising Stars list. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.

Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a research-driven, peer influenced rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Attorneys are selected from more than 70 practice areas and all firm sizes, assuring a credible and relevant annual list.

The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes:

  • Peer nominations
  • Independent research by Super Lawyers
  • Evaluations from a highly credentialed panel of attorneys

The objective of Super Lawyers is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys to be used as a resource for both referring attorneys and consumers seeking legal counsel.

The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country, as well as the Illinois Super Lawyers Digital Magazine.

For more information about Super Lawyers, go to

Chicago Property Tax Rebate Program - Applications Due by November 30, 2016

This past year, Chicago homeowners saw their property tax bills increase by an average of 13%.  Because of this, the City of Chicago developed a program to provide homeowners with some relief. Chicago's Property Tax Rebate Program is currently accepting applications.

Standard rebate amounts range between $25 and $200. The City calculates rebate amounts based upon household income and increases in the Chicago portion of a homeowners’ property tax bill.

26 neighborhood locations and City Hall accept applications. Homeowners will receive rebate checks 6 to 8 weeks after application processing. The deadline to apply is November 30, 2016.

Eligibility requirements for the Chicago Property Tax Rebate Program are as follows:

·         Chicago Resident and Homeowner;

·         Received the Homeowner’s Exemption in the most recent property tax year;

·         Household adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less in 2015;

·         City of Chicago portion of property taxes increased on most recent tax bill;

·         Homeowner is current on payment of property taxes;

·         Homeowner does not owe real estate taxes on other property located in Chicago; and

·         Homeowner does not owe other City debt (e.g., parking tickets, overdue water bills). Homeowners owing other debt may still apply; however, the City will apply rebate amounts to the outstanding debt.

Senior supplement and enhanced grant programs are also available for qualifying homeowners.

For complete information, including locations accepting applications, please visit:

Chicago Property Tax Rebate Program

or call our offices for further questions or assistance.

2015 Cook County Property Tax Rates Released

The office of Cook County Clerk, David Orr, announced the 2015 Cook County property tax rates this afternoon. Chicago residential property owners should see a 12.8% increase in their tax bills. The northern and southern suburbs will increase by approximately 1.7% and 2.1% respectively.

Also of note:

  • The 2015 average tax rate for Chicago is 6.867%.
  • The average Chicago property tax bill will increase from $3,220.32 in 2014 to $3,663.19 in 2015.
  • Chicago Equalized Assessed Values rose 9.3% from tax year 2014 to 2015.
  • 2015 marks the first time that the total tax billed in the City of Chicago will exceed $1 billion.

Cook County 2015 second installment property tax bills are expected to mail around July 1, 2016 with payment due on August 1, 2016.

For legal questions regarding property taxes, including appeals, please contact Jacob Shapiro ( or Justin Strane (

Additional information:

2015 Cook County Tax Rate Announcement

2015 Cook County Tax Rate Report

Chicago Debt Amnesty Program Goes Into Effect on November 15, 2015.

Fresh off his historical property tax increase, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is instituting an amnesty program for people with unpaid tickets, back taxes and other fees owed to the City of Chicago. The plan is part of a concerted effort on the Mayor’s part to prove that he is not intending to increase the cost of living in Chicago for all residents.[i] The program will begin on Sunday, November 15, 2015 and run through December 31, 2015.

Debts eligible for the amnesty program include “unpaid parking and red light camera violations, fines imposed by the Department of Administrative Hearings (e.g., building code violations, drinking on the public way), and taxes (both non-filers and tax assessments) incurred prior to January 1, 2012.[ii] “Penalties, interest and collection costs associated with the eligible debt will be waived during the [amnesty program], reducing the amount of due to the original fine or tax amount.”[iii]

Violations and tax obligations that are currently in a payment plan or have pending legal activity with the City do not apply. Further, “tow fees, storage fees, administrative fees, court costs, and other charges are not subject to the [amnesty program].”

Specific information for relief under the amnesty program may be found at the following links:

Amnesty Program General Information:

Parking & Red Light Tickets:

Administrative Hearings Fines:

Tax Debt:

Ansari & Shapiro is a full service law firm specializing in the areas of real estate, business and special needs planning.

[i]  Kate Shepherd, Unpaid Tickets And Taxes? Emanuel Launches An Amnesty Program,

[ii] City of Chicago Debt Relief Program Frequently Asked Questions,

[iii] Id.