Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

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.

   
  The first blood bank in the world was established at Cook County Hospital by Dr. Bernard Fantus in 1937.
   
     
     
     



Some properties still mislabled as 'Vacant' on tax rolls

Friday, August 02, 2013
CBS2
by Pam Zekman

If you live in Cook County, your property taxes were due this week.

Some residents pay higher taxes than their neighbors because some developed properties are mistakenly listed as “vacant.” Those mistakes were supposed to be cleared up years ago after a CBS 2 investigation by Pam Zekman.

Now, she’s finding more problems. 

And even though a photograph on the Cook County Assessors website shows the home was there in 2008, it is still described it as vacant land and assessed that way. And that’s what infuriates neighbors who complained to CBS 2 that these homeowners are only paying $1,200 to $1,700 a year – not their fair share of property taxes.

That’s jaw-dropping to Cathy Demar, who pays up to $9,000 per year. “It’s not fair to all other homeowners around here. We are getting ripped off,” Demar says.

Chicago Police Sgt. Joseph Mark owns the home. Mark says he told the assessor’s office the house was finished but never got a corrected tax bill. “Some things I guess fall through the cracks,” he told Zekman.

As a result of CBS 2’s inquiry, the property has been reassessed with estimated taxes of $6,700. Mark will be charged for three years of back taxes. He says he’ll pay.

Still, the lapse aggravates owners of comparable home like Renee Megaro, who have been paying that all along. “I blame the politicians. They need to do something about this,” she says.

After CBS 2 disclosed in 2010 that houses all over the county were incorrectly assessed as vacant land, corrections were made and the proper taxes paid. Former assessor James Houlihan ordered a review of all vacant land. It was finished by his successor, Joseph Berrios.

The results? Four hundred and one buildings were added to the tax rolls with more than $2.2 million in taxes due.

But they missed a million-dollar home in Glenview that was assessed as vacant land for the three years the former owner lived there. His taxes were $4,000 to $5,000 when it should have been about $14,000.

The assessor says the mistakes happened because his office was not notified about the permits for the new houses by their building departments or township assessor.

That process helps flag properties that will require reassessment. Berrios also wants your help. His office fields anonymous tips online in hopes of learning about under-assessments http://whistleblowing.cookcountyassessor.com/

For people who purposely avoid paying their fair share, he says: “If we catch you, we will not only tax you we will go back three years and you will pay interest and penalties on that tax.”



Recent Headlines

U.S. appeals judges: Go fight over lawsuits with Dorothy Brown in state court
Sunday, November 13, 2918
Chicago Sun-Times

She's been waiting 15 months for her rape kit to be processed. A new proposal to track evidence aims to change that.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle to unveil policy roadmap for Cook County for next five years
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

COMMENTARY: Here's how the Shakman case curbed Cook County patronage
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Appeals court backs Dorothy Brown in lawsuit over public access to electronic records, says judge overstepped authority
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

What’s Next As Voters Overwhelmingly Support Higher Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Time
Monday, November 12, 2018
Journal and Topics Online

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's security chief fired after review spurred by watchdog report
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

An earlier opening day: 2019 Cook County forest preserves permits go on sale Nov. 15
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County opening 2019 picnic permit sales Nov. 15
Monday, November 05, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

The Cook County Land Bank looks to go commercial
Monday, November 05, 2018
RE Journal

Nov. 15 is new opening date for Cook County forest preserves permits
Monday, November 05, 2018
Daily Herald

Cook County Gun Dealer, Minimum Wage Referendums On Ballot
Monday, November 05, 2018
Patch

The Abandoned WWI Monument One Chicago Man Is Determined To Save
Friday, November 02, 2018
Chicago Patch

Cook County freed from federal oversight
Thursday, November 01, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

First-of-its-kind trauma recovery center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018
ABC 7

Northbrook opts in to Cook County paid sick leave ordinance, more uncertainty for employers, lawyer says
Monday, October 29, 2018
Cook County Record

First-of-its-kind Advocate Trauma Recovery Center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018
WLS Channel 7

Cook County sheriff, CVS team up on safe prescription painkiller disposal
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

HOPE Court, created to keep probationers out of prison, shut down amid problems
Friday, October 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Can Kaegi really reform the assessor's office?
Friday, October 26, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

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