Attorneys can provide comparable property tax valuations while representing taxpayers during tax appeals hearings, according to a decision in Cook County Circuit Court Thursday.

The Illinois State Bar Association reported it won a summary judgement in the case, with Cook County Circuit Judge Raymond Mitchell ruling that the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) can’t prosecute Illinois property tax attorneys for “offering appraisal services without a proper state license” when they argue valuations before tax assessment appeal tribunals. The court also enjoined IDFPR from prosecuting cases against attorneys who submit valuation comparisons as part of their tax appeal cases.

With regard to a real estate broker’s role in taxpayer appeals, “Those who are approached for valuations in tax appeals could perform services for the taxpayers as expert witnesses,” says Illinois REALTORS® General Counsel & Vice President of Legal Services Betsy Urbance. “They can provide evidence on values for which they can be compensated, but should not ‘present the case’ or appear in lieu of the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s attorney.”