Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

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 County Assessor Berrios Faces More Heat

Tuesday, December 19, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight
by Paris Schutz

More scrutiny for embattled Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios.

A government watchdog group is calling for oversight of Berrios and the way his office assesses property values. This comes as Berrios faces a lawsuit and condemnation by many public officials in his own party after recent investigations have revealed problems with how properties are assessed.

On top of that, the Cook County inspector general says he will be weighing in on this process in the near future as well. Remember, Berrios had long ignored that office, saying it had no oversight over his office, but a state supreme court ruling said otherwise. Now the inspector general says he will have a statement on the assessment process. This comes as the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform calls on Cook County to establish an oversight board to watch over Berrios and how he assesses the million-plus parcels of property in Cook County to determine how much they pay in property tax.

A series by ProPublica and the Chicago Tribune has revealed a general pattern of undervaluing wealthy properties, meaning those buildings pay less, and overvaluing poorer properties, resulting in higher proportionate property taxes. The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform says the office lacks the basic transparency measures of other offices in other jurisdictions, and needs an independent panel minding the store.

“There should be an oversight panel created to look further into these issues, establish what best practices are across the nation and make specific tangible policy changes,” said ICPR Director Sarah Brune. “People want to know that they’re being treated fairly in this process. This is dollars and sense, this is their hard earned money.”

Berrios’ office responded Tuesday saying there is an independent review going on right now of how the assessment process is handled, that he is cooperating with that and the inspector general. The office also takes exception to the Tribune reporting, claiming it didn’t accurately analyze the numbers and that it wasn’t done by assessment professionals.

“If you look at the actual figures and records and buildings involved, you’ll see that the assessments make complete sense,” said Tom Shaer, deputy assessor for communications. “And I have yet to hear anyone say, ‘Here’s what the figures should be on that building.’ The assessor is already committed to making whatever changes possible or recommended by the current study that the county has undertaken at the request of President (Toni) Preckwinkle.”

Berrios has also been fighting Freedom of Information requests to get at aspects of the method the office uses to calculate property assessments, since so many of them are vastly different than the value a property has when it is sold. And another aspect of that investigation is the fact that property owners, many big downtown office buildings, who retain law firms run by powerful Illinois politicians House Speaker Michael Madigan and Ald. Ed burke often win big reductions in their property taxes when they challenge those numbers.

It’s caused some politicians running for office to call for a ban on public officials acting as tax appeal attorneys in their side jobs.

Follow Paris Schutz on Twitter: @paschutz



Recent Headlines

Nearly a century after a brutal murder, Chicago’s only lynching victim gets memorial
Thursday, March 21, 2019
The Grio

Recovery Behind Bars: Cook County Jail’s Opioid Treatment Program
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Medill Reports

Judge: Labor unions don't owe non-union state workers refunds, despite unconstitutional fees
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Cook County record

The language of justice: Court interpreters fight for client rights and their rights in Cook County
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Medill Reports

Cook County General Hospital's $90-Million Redevelopment Saves a Chicago Icon
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Engineering News Rec ord

Preckwinkle sends out harassment survey to staff after harassment controversy in her office
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Illinois Land Title Association Granted Summary Judgment in Case against Cook County Recorder of Deeds
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Illinois State Bar Association

Grand Jury Indicts Debt Collector of Bribing Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown
Friday, March 15, 2019
WBBM Chicago

Indictment: Cook County's hired debt collector charged with bribing county officials to secure county contract
Friday, March 15, 2019
Cook County record

Karen Chavers Honored as 2019 Unsung Heroine
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Pappas to announce deadline for Cook County property owners to pay late taxes
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Courts Cause Confusion For Woman Trying To Resolve Her Case
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
CBS Chicago

Census changes raise fears of Illinois undercounting
Monday, March 11, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Sheriff Warns of Apple Phone Scam
Monday, March 11, 2019
WTTW News

Caller poses as Apple to get victims personal info in scam targeting Cook County residents
Monday, March 11, 2019
WGN Chicago

Should Young Adults Be Sent To Juvenile Courts?
Sunday, March 10, 2019
NPR Radio

Cook County Jail hires 2nd consecutive mental health professional as warden
Wednesday, March 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawsuit: Sheriff jailed dozens because of faulty electronic monitoring devices
Monday, March 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Woman dies while in custody at Cook County Jail
Sunday, March 03, 2019
Fox 32

City considers landmarking old Cook County Hospital
Friday, March 01, 2019
Gazette Chicago

all news items

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