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Olivo lone holdout in tax relief debate
Cook County assessor says alderman supports bill because of ties to Madigan

Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Daily Southtown
by Jonathan Lipman Staff writer

A Southwest Side alderman was the lone holdout in a letter from the Chicago City Council criticizing the pending proposal for property tax relief in the statehouse.
Cook County Assessor Jim Houlihan called out Ald. Frank Olivo (13th) in a news release Monday. Houlihan said Olivo is only supporting the pending property tax relief bill because of his close ties to Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, who is pushing the bill.
"We're just pointing out that 49 out of 50 aldermen sign it and the one alderman that doesn't is Madigan's," said Houlihan spokesman Lucio Guerrero. "And (Madigan) has been consistently against long-term relief for homeowners."
Olivo's office said the aldermen was not available for comment.
Houlihan and Madigan have been feuding over the bill for months. Houlihan wants the bill expanded to include more tax relief for homeowners, but Madigan says Houlihan's version of the bill is irresponsible and rewards wealthy homeowners with tax breaks.
Houlihan says the letter from aldermen, authored by Gene Schulter (47th), proves most aldermen want changes too.
"This three-year legislation is nothing more than a disingenuous attempt at property tax relief," the aldermen's letter says, "and will result in most homeowners seeing increases as great as 40 percent in actual tax dollars."
For the past three years, Cook County homeowners saw their taxes reduced with an expanded homeowner's exemption usually called the "7 percent cap." It allowed them to deduct up to $20,000 from the taxable value of their home, which is used to compute their annual property tax bill.

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