Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

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 Cook County Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.

After judge’s dismissal, Skokie appeals federal lawsuit over Evanston water rates

Friday, November 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune
by Genevieve Bookwalter

Skokie officials have appealed a federal judge’s September decision to dismiss their lawsuit against Evanston over water rates that Skokie officials have called discriminatory and a violation of residents’ rights.

The appeal was filed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on Oct. 23, according to court documents. The appeal follows the Sept. 27 dismissal of Skokie’s claims by federal district court Judge Charles Kocoras.

On Friday, Evanston attorneys declined to comment on the appeal. Skokie officials did not immediately return requests for comment.

The appeal comes after Kocoras declined to rule on the merit of the case, but instead wrote that Skokie does not have standing to sue Evanston in federal court on this issue. That’s because Skokie has not yet paid the rate Evanston demands, and therefore has not been injured with grounds to sue in federal court.


Whether Evanston’s requested rate is valid is an issue to be determined by Cook County Circuit Court, Kocoras wrote. Evanston sued Skokie in Cook County Circuit Court in 2017 over this issue.

Skokie joined residents Elaine Jacobson, Paul Pitalis and Robert Quane, along with local business Georgia Nut Company, in filing the federal suit.

The federal suit followed Evanston’s county suit previously filed against the village of Skokie over an impasse in water rate negotiations. That case has been on hold pending the results of the federal lawsuit.

Evanston wants Skokie to pay $2.06 per 1,000 gallons of the Lake Michigan water it treats and supplies to Skokie, according to Evanston’s county lawsuit.

But Skokie wants to pay “somewhere in the vicinity of 70 cents per 1,000 gallons” which Evanston states in the county lawsuit is “far below a fair and reasonable rate.”

The two towns previously had long-term agreements for Evanston to supply the water. The latest contract, which started in 1997 and went for 20 years, expired Dec. 31, 2016, the lawsuit states.

[Most read] Disney Plus users complain of login problems, service errors on launch day »

Skokie turned around and sued Evanston in federal court. Village attorneys asked that court to declare that Evanston’s rate ordinance adversely affects the rights of Skokie plaintiffs in a discriminatory way and that it violates Skokie citizens’ rights. Skokie calls the $2.06 per 1,000 gallons rate that Evanston seeks to charge a “Punitive Rate Ordinance.”

Further, Skokie makes the argument that Evanston’s higher rates would violate due process and equal protection rights guaranteed in the Fifth and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution — hence the federal lawsuit.

According to the Seventh District Court of Appeals docket, Skokie officials have until Dec. 23 to file the village’s brief with the court. Evanston officials have until Jan. 23 to respond, and Skokie has until Feb. 13 to file a reply brief.

Recent Headlines

Editorial: Taxation tough love from Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi
Friday, December 13, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County’s property tax burden is shifting in the suburbs: Businesses could be hit hard, but homeowners might catch a break
Thursday, December 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

The other financial storm threatening to capsize Illinois' economy
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

County: Higher property taxes partly a hangover from foreclosure crisis
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Glencoe District 35 increases property tax levy by 4.45%
Sunday, December 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Niles Township Property Tax Appeal Workshops Offered In Skokie
Friday, December 06, 2019

Want to pay your property taxes early? Here's how.
Wednesday, December 04, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Column: Twitter exchange with Cook County assessor sums up outrage and exodus: Tax hikes are paying for debt, not services.
Tuesday, December 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Niles taxing bodies, including schools, set to share $3.4 million surplus of TIF district funds
Tuesday, December 03, 2019
Pioneer Press

Unknown tale: Father George Clements’s role in Cook County court reform
Monday, December 02, 2019
Injustice Watch

State panel faces Dec. 31 deadline for property tax relief recommendations
Monday, December 02, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A drop in people, a $1 billion rise in property taxes
Monday, December 02, 2019
Daily Herald

In tents and under bridges, a new Cook County sheriff’s office program helps hard-to-reach drug users
Sunday, December 01, 2019
Chicago Tribune

No pay-to-play in the Cook County assessor's office
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Dorothy Brown’s office debuts upgrade to criminal court computers to wide ridicule
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Chicago Tribune

What's happening to Chicago's safety-net hospitals?
Monday, November 25, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Health CEO ousted by board
Friday, November 22, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County OKs suburban infrastructure funding
Friday, November 22, 2019
Daily Herald

Cook County Health CEO out at the end of 2019 after hospital system opts against renewing his contract
Friday, November 22, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board greenlights 2020 budget
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

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