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Question DetailsAsked on 11/25/2014

Will converting our crawlspace to a full height basement increase our property taxes in Cook County, IL?

Our house has a 650sf basement, with 1100sf of crawlspace attached to it. Both are below grade. Not sure why the house was built that way, but we are looking to convert the crawlspace to a full height basement so that we can utilize the entire area.

I know that such a project would be expensive, but would it increase our property taxes in Cook county?

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1 Answer


Wow - sounds like someone had a pet alligator or mushroom farm or something they needed a home for.

Sure it would - increase of livable space square footage increases taxes. Check the Assessor's office website for info on whether they assess more on bedroom/living space than basement. Usually adding a ratable bedroom (with door, closet and legal egress window) typically costs you more than equivalent open space, and an unfinished basement will commonly be assessed at lower rates than finished also. Usually, cheapest solution, if it fits your needs, is to leave it unfinished with the utilities (furnace, etc) in the open area, so it gets rated as a large utility room - usually that is cheapest tax rate or even not rated in some areas. Then you can use as a hobby room or workshop or rec room or whatever, and avoid the higher rating (sometimes) unless you finish it. Orninances can be quite funky - hit one area once where rooms were considered unfinished if they had concrete floors with paint or carpet or such - so an entire many-story office building was done in polished concrete and saved a million or so a year in taxes because it was rated the same per square foot as a warehouse or loading shed. I presume they changed that law after that.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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