What changes, if any, should be applied to Cook County's property tax system?

Budget

Changes absolutely should be made to Cook County's property tax system because of the property tax racket that's been going on. Middle-class families and small businesses shouldn't be paying artificially high property taxes just because wealthy real estate owners and larger businesses are able to abuse the system to lower their own property tax assessments. We also don't need people like Joe Berrios serving as the Cook County Assessor. Mike Madigan gets people like Joe Berrios elected to office and utilizes their position to his advantage. In Madigan's case, profiting from clients using his tax assessment law firm when applying for an adjustment from none other than Joe Berrios.

Changes absolutely should be made to Cook County's property tax system because of the property tax racket that's been going on. Middle-class families and small businesses shouldn't be paying artificially high property taxes just because wealthy real estate owners and larger businesses are able to abuse the system to lower their own property tax assessments. We also don't need people like Joe Berrios serving as the Cook County Assessor. Mike Madigan gets people like Joe Berrios elected to office and utilizes their position to his advantage. In Madigan's case, profiting from clients using his tax assessment law firm when applying for an adjustment from none other than Joe Berrios.

Changes I proposed in the HOME Act would be useful in bringing fairness and transparency to Cook County's property tax system, and more effective than banning elected officials from serving as property tax lawyers. These reforms include requiring assessors to disclose how they're estimating and validating values, bringing state oversight and reporting to the activities of local officials, requiring assessors to modernize inequitable valuation systems, requiring statistical analysis from the Department of Revenue to assess fairness, and enacting pay-for-play rules and contribution limits for property tax lawyers.

Changes I proposed in the HOME Act would be useful in bringing fairness and transparency to Cook County's property tax system, and more effective than banning elected officials from serving as property tax lawyers. These reforms include requiring assessors to disclose how they're estimating and validating values, bringing state oversight and reporting to the activities of local officials, requiring assessors to modernize inequitable valuation systems, requiring statistical analysis from the Department of Revenue to assess fairness, and enacting pay-for-play rules and contribution limits for property tax lawyers.

I have been working with Assessor Warren Dixon to bring the inequities in our Property Tax system to light for three years. The assessment system statewide is corrupt and mismanaged, but Cook County requires special attention. Cook County operates a completely different assessment system than the other 101 counties in the state. The county's entire property tax system needs to be redesigned from the ground up.

To that end, last year I proposed HJR69, a resolution to form the Taskforce on the Reform and Modernization of Cook County Assessment System. Thirty-one state legislators, representing both sides of the political aisle, supported this measure. Governor Rauner could have supported the creation of this bipartisan taskforce but decided to join Democratic leaders in sweeping my bill under the rug. As governor, I will lead on the issue of property tax reform. The creation of the property tax modernization taskforce will be one of my first priorities.

I have been working with Assessor Warren Dixon to bring the inequities in our Property Tax system to light for three years. The assessment system statewide is corrupt and mismanaged, but Cook County requires special attention. Cook County operates a completely different assessment system than the other 101 counties in the state. The county's entire property tax system needs to be redesigned from the ground up.

To that end, last year I proposed HJR69, a resolution to form the Taskforce on the Reform and Modernization of Cook County Assessment System. Thirty-one state legislators, representing both sides of the political aisle, supported this measure. Governor Rauner could have supported the creation of this bipartisan taskforce but decided to join Democratic leaders in sweeping my bill under the rug. As governor, I will lead on the issue of property tax reform. The creation of the property tax modernization taskforce will be one of my first priorities.

The problems we have with our current property tax system are larger than just those conflicts. It's a foundational problem where we rely too heavily on property taxes to fund our schools and where the data used to make valuation determinations is often not transparent and publicly available. The result is a regressive system in which the poorest areas of the state pay the highest property tax rates. Each of these must be addressed to reduce property taxes and apply them more fairly.

The problems we have with our current property tax system are larger than just those conflicts. It's a foundational problem where we rely too heavily on property taxes to fund our schools and where the data used to make valuation determinations is often not transparent and publicly available. The result is a regressive system in which the poorest areas of the state pay the highest property tax rates. Each of these must be addressed to reduce property taxes and apply them more fairly.

Mr. Berrios should resign. The property tax system should be reformed so that wealthy owners are not favored and poor neighborhoods are discriminated against as is the case now.

Mr. Berrios should resign. The property tax system should be reformed so that wealthy owners are not favored and poor neighborhoods are discriminated against as is the case now.

The biggest problem that protects us from exposing and addressing our broken property tax system is that no one knows the specifics about how the assessments are estimated. But we do know this system is broken because we can look at data like assessments v. sale prices and estimate the property tax data that should be generated from a residence or commercial property. Not to mention that your publication has exposed through a million-point data study that there is a clear discrimination in the estimated value between homes in low-income and wealthy communities, that the overwhelming majority of residential appeals are granted, and that the value of commercial properties have been estimated erroneously or without change in value repeatedly.

We need to file under evaluation complaints on a significant sample of large-scale commercial properties to identify additional data on missing revenue and reveal the outcome to the public. We need a transparent, public repository that outlines the assessment process and the results it produces across communities and various type of properties. And we need to ban property tax appeals lawyers from also serving as influential members in Illinois government because we know, without a doubt, that there is a clear and detrimental conflict of interest happening here.

The biggest problem that protects us from exposing and addressing our broken property tax system is that no one knows the specifics about how the assessments are estimated. But we do know this system is broken because we can look at data like assessments v. sale prices and estimate the property tax data that should be generated from a residence or commercial property. Not to mention that your publication has exposed through a million-point data study that there is a clear discrimination in the estimated value between homes in low-income and wealthy communities, that the overwhelming majority of residential appeals are granted, and that the value of commercial properties have been estimated erroneously or without change in value repeatedly.

We need to file under evaluation complaints on a significant sample of large-scale commercial properties to identify additional data on missing revenue and reveal the outcome to the public. We need a transparent, public repository that outlines the assessment process and the results it produces across communities and various type of properties. And we need to ban property tax appeals lawyers from also serving as influential members in Illinois government because we know, without a doubt, that there is a clear and detrimental conflict of interest happening here.

We need a new system period. Machine politics in this area are some of the worst in the state. Too many people are losing their homes because of over assessments and paying more property taxes compared to other counties.

We need a new system period. Machine politics in this area are some of the worst in the state. Too many people are losing their homes because of over assessments and paying more property taxes compared to other counties.

It's up to the voters of Cook County to elect an assessor in whom they have confidence. It's unseemly for a candidate for governor from Downstate to nose into a local issue like this.

It's up to the voters of Cook County to elect an assessor in whom they have confidence. It's unseemly for a candidate for governor from Downstate to nose into a local issue like this.