Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



Cook leaders want property tax exemption crackdown law

Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Chicago Tribune
by John Byrne

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkleand Assessor Joe Berrios on Tuesday urged state lawmakers to give them more power to go after property owners who improperly claim tax breaks, saying they could recover more than $150 million in three years with the new authority.

Under legislation pending in Springfield, counties could go after back taxes from people who have wrongly received homestead exemptions. The tax break should only be applied to a property owner's primary residence, but people often also claim it for rental properties, vacation homes and secondary residences. Other property owners get inappropriate property tax reductions for being a senior citizen, disabled person or disabled veteran.

People who claimed multiple improper homestead exemptions also would be fined a percentage of their unpaid taxes, and the county could place liens on the properties to try to compel property owners to pay up.

A similar measure stalled in Springfield last year, which Berrios blamed on pressure from real estate agents and landlords who oppose the plan. The assessor also said the previous version of the bill got weighed down by unrelated proposals that got attached to it during the legislative process.

“This bill is a stand-alone,” Berrios said at a news conference, explaining why he's optimistic the new version will pass.

Based on the number of exemption cheats he said he has found to date, Berrios estimated $154 million would be returned to the county, school districts and the like during the first three years the plan was in effect.

Last October, the Tribune found numerous examples of public officials collecting improper homestead exemptions. And they were just a few examples among thousands of taxpayers who have benefited — intentionally or otherwise — from tax breaks they are not entitled to receive, the newspaper disclosed.

Preckwinkle described it as a matter of fairness. “Residents have to bear the financial burden when their neighbors wrongfully take property tax exemptions, so this legislation is about leveling the playing field,” Preckwinkle said.

The latest version of the measure has passed the House, and Berrios said he's working with Senate President John Cullerton to build support.

Assessor spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said Berrios also is working with lawmakers to introduce a plan to let senior citizens apply for their property tax exemption every three years instead of requiring them to do so each year.

Seniors used to automatically get the exemption, but the General Assembly changed the law in 2010 to require them to reapply each year. A plan Berrios endorsed to make the senior exemption automatic once again stalled in the House last year, in part because House Speaker Michael Madigan did not support it.

jebyrne@tribune.com
Twitter @_johnbyrne

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Assessor Joe Berrios on Tuesday urged state lawmakers to give them more power to go after property owners who improperly claim tax breaks, saying they could recover more than $150 million in three years with the new authority.
Under legislation pending in Springfield, counties could go after back taxes from people who have wrongly received homestead exemptions. The tax break should only be applied to a property owner's primary residence, but people often also claim it for rental properties, vacation homes and secondary residences. Other property owners get inappropriate property tax reductions for being a senior citizen, disabled person or disabled veteran.
People who claimed multiple improper homestead exemptions also would be fined a percentage of their unpaid taxes, and the county could place liens on the properties to try to compel property owners to pay up.
A similar measure stalled in Springfield last year, which Berrios blamed on pressure from real estate agents and landlords who oppose the plan. The assessor also said the previous version of the bill got weighed down by unrelated proposals that got attached to it during the legislative process. “This bill is a stand-alone,” Berrios said at a news conference, explaining why he's optimistic the new version will pass.
Based on the number of exemption cheats he said he has found to date, Berrios estimated $154 million would be returned to the county, school districts and the like during the first three years the plan was in effect.
Last October, the Tribune found numerous examples of public officials collecting improper homestead exemptions. And they were just a few examples among thousands of taxpayers who have benefited — intentionally or otherwise — from tax breaks they are not entitled to receive, the newspaper disclosed.
Preckwinkle described it as a matter of fairness. “Residents have to bear the financial burden when their neighbors wrongfully take property tax exemptions, so this legislation is about leveling the playing field,” Preckwinkle said.
The latest version of the measure has passed the House, and Berrios said he's working with Senate President John Cullerton to build support.
Assessor spokeswoman Kelly Quinn said Berrios also is working with lawmakers to introduce a plan to let senior citizens apply for their property tax exemption every three years instead of requiring them to do so each year.
Seniors used to automatically get the exemption, but the General Assembly changed the law in 2010 to require them to reapply each year. A plan Berrios endorsed to make the senior exemption automatic once again stalled in the House last year, in part because House Speaker Michael Madigan did not support it.




Recent Headlines

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM COMMISSIONER SUFFREDIN
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Assessor’s Office Publicly Releases Residential Assessment Code and Models
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Health Cuts Ribbon on Outpatient Center in Arlington Heights
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Celebrate Earth Day with the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Homeowners in Chicago have just a few weeks to get current on their 2017 property taxes - or risk losing their homes. WBEZ’s Odette Yousef reports.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
WBEZ Chiacgo Public Radio

Editorial: The Foxx-Smollett questions for Inspector General Blanchard
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pet owners warned of spring coyote dangers
Monday, April 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County inspector general to review prosecutors' handling of Jussie Smollett case
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Foxx requests Cook County IG investigation into handling of Jussie Smollett case
Friday, April 12, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A challenge to one of Chicago's biggest draws for companies
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

What Evanston's assessments tell us about the new assessor's new math
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

$3.85 million granted in lawsuit against ex-Cook County forest preserve worker charged in fatal on-the-job crash
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A Day in the Life of a Cook County Burn Crew
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
WTTW News

EDITORIAL: Splitting up the region’s sanitation board is an idea that stinks
Monday, April 08, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawmakers Look To Keep 10-Year-Olds Out Of Jail
Thursday, April 04, 2019

Property Tax Workshops Help Homeowners Appeal Assessments
Wednesday, April 03, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Large crowds of Evanston residents turn out to appeal property tax assessments
Tuesday, April 02, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Family of slain cabbie accuses Cook County state's attorney's office of dodging FOIA request
Monday, April 01, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Property Tax Appeal Seminar Set For New Trier Township Residents
Monday, April 01, 2019
Journal and Topics Online

Measles has turned up in Cook County. Here's what you need to know.
Friday, March 29, 2019
Chicago Tribune

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP