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05/15/2020

Recommend avoiding

I would recommend avoiding his services. I experienced very poor client communication, little effort, poor results and questionable practices. Shapiro’s results were very poor and I wish to share information in this regard. I was very dissatisfied with Mr. Shapiro’s obtaining a relatively small reduction ($58,000) on my behalf in the appeal of the 2018 triennial reassessment and with his handling of the appeal. I appealed the very same reassessment amount by myself to the Cook County Board of Appeals for the 2019 tax year and (with no change in the property or other facts) on 4/1/20, obtained an additional $99,000 reduction, equaling almost half of the original 2018 $214,000 (50%!) increased reassessment—an additional reduction that Mr. Shapiro has repeatedly claimed was impossible. While it’s true that Shapiro got 99% of what he sought on his initial appeal of the 2018 triennial reassessment, the problem was that he:
1) asked for ONLY a one quarter reduction of the $214,000 increase in my assessment (without my knowledge or consent), and
2) put forth narrowly-focused, minimal efforts to show that I had been greatly over-assessed.
The way Shapiro handled my case made it extremely difficult to appeal the initial decision to a higher level and ended my ability to further challenge the full three year triennial reassessment. I was left with the ability to appeal the reassessment for the individual last two years of the triennial (2019 & 2020). The Assessor’s Office confirmed that I need to file a 2020 appeal only as a formality and will retain the reduction I obtained for 2019. :-)

I obtained the very large reduction by submitting a thorough analysis of comparable properties, which reveals the kind of cookie-cutter, minimalist representation Shapiro provided me. Very few people know enough about how the property tax system has worked and are grateful for any reduction at all, but don’t realize they may be foregoing thousands in reductions that could be obtained by vigorous representation. I would be wary of lawyers, such as Shapiro, who work on a contingency basis, and recommend those who charge a flat fee. I also would be wary of past positive reviews--the new Cook County Assessor's rules require all appeals to be filed anonymously without attorney names. A property tax attorney who I considered hiring indicated that the new rules have made life quite difficult for certain property tax lawyers, perhaps including Mr Shapiro, who (to obtain favorable treatment) relied on political contributions to the Cook County Board of Review and to the prior Assessor.

I'm so sorry I used him on a neighbor's advice. Except as a client, I have no relationship with a property tax attorney and no financial interest in this matter other than my own personal property taxes.

Supporting documents are posted with Shapiro reviews on Google, Yelp and Facebook.

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