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COOK COUNTY ASSESSOR’S OFFICE ANNOUNCES DATES FOR UPCOMING TOWN HALL MEETINGS

Thursday, September 26, 2019
Chicago Defender

Assessor Fritz Kaegi partners with elected officials and community leaders to discuss property tax reform

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi announced he will speak at a series of town hall-style meetings next month to discuss property tax reform and a proposal in Springfield that will bring more fairness to the property tax system.

Hosted by elected officials and community groups at the state, county, and local levels, the meetings will offer an update on reforms in the Assessor’s Office and a look at what’s to come on issues like vacancy, data modernization and legislative property tax reform measures.

“We continue to take steps to make Cook County’s property tax system fairer for taxpayers,” Assessor Kaegi said. “A key part of this is passing SB 1379, the Data Modernization Bill, which will help ensure no property owner pays more than his or her fair share in taxes. It’s no cost to taxpayers and the first, best step in legislative property tax reform.”

The ability to collect data at the beginning of the assessment process will bring Cook County and other counties in Illinois, who choose to opt-in to this practice, in-line with professional practices used by assessors in at least 17 other states. It will also help eliminate uncertainty and hidden costs in the current assessment system, which often deters institutional investment and weakens local economies.

The bill cleared the Senate with a supermajority and now must be called for a vote in the House.

“There is broad support for the bill. Working people, real estate investors, community organizations and south suburban mayors are all in favor because the bill provides more transparency in assessments and less uncertainty in the market,” Kaegi said.

The first town hall will be held on Tuesday, October 1st from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at South Suburban College located at 15800 South State Street in South Holland. Senator Toi Hutchinson, Representatives Will Davis and Debbie Meyers-Martin and Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller will co-host the event.

The second town hall will be held on Thursday, October 10th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Stickney Village Hall located at 6533 West Pershing Road in Stickney. Representative Celina Villanueva and Representative Chris Welch will serve as co-hosts.

A third town hall will be held at St. Andrews Greek Church located at 5649 N. Sheridan Road in Chicago. Representative Kelly Cassidy and Senator Heather Steans will co-host. The date and time is to be determined.

“I am hopeful taxpayers will attend these forums as we discuss real property tax reform in Cook County. Transparent assessment methodology, better data, and open communication are all very important in my continued drive to bring additional clarity and fairness to the assessment process,” Kaegi said.

SB 1379 has strong support from key players in the Illinois business community, including the Brookfield Properties’ Retail Group, owners of Water Tower Place, the International Council for Shopping Centers, Chamber 57, Michael Alter, Alter Group, Harry Huzenis, Jameson Commercial Real Estate, BMO Harris Bank and Crain’s Chicago Business. The South Suburban Mayors & Managers Association, the Cook County Board of Commissioners, the Chicago Tribune, the Daily Herald, and the Illinois Association of School Boards are also supporters of the bill.



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