CHICAGO – A leading Cook County Democrat showed a ripple in the state's seeming impenetrable Democrat force this week when Cook Clerk David Orr issued a statement concerning questions being raised about his fellow Democrat Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios' property tax values.
Orr is also upset that Assessor Berrios has made promises of process improvements, but they haven't come to fruition. But it should be noted Orr has already announced he's not seeking re-election after 26 years of holding the office.
We'll let Clerk Orr speak for himself so it doesn't appear we're coming up with "fake news":
I am very concerned that the problems with the assessment process have not been corrected. In 2015, Assessor Berrios, while announcing a new assessment model, stated that the assessment system was regressive. Regressivity hurts low and middle income residents the most—putting them on the hook for a larger property tax bill than they should be paying. We have now learned that the new model, which was created to address regressivity, was never—or only partially—implemented.
The Cook County Clerk’s Office is an integral part of the property tax system and we rely on accurate and fair assessments from the County Assessor’s Office to determine property tax rates.
I am aware that Assessor Berrios and President Preckwinkle are looking for experts to bring solutions and transparency to the assessment process. Still, two question must be asked: (1) why is the Assessor’s Office not using the model that, in 2015, they publicly touted would significantly alleviate this problem and, (2) what assessment model is the office currently using?
Three substantive studies have already been conducted: a 2011 study by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy; a University of Chicago analysis commissioned by the Assessor in 2014 and funded by the MacArthur Foundation; and the Chicago Tribune investigation. Clearly, there is a crisis to solve and we must begin—as you are today—by speaking with the experts that have already spent countless hours studying the assessment process and developing stronger models.
If the choice is to move forward with an expert to offer solutions to the assessment system, then the selection process cannot be conducted behind closed doors. My office, and the other Cook County offices that administer the property tax system, must be involved. We need all hands on deck to assure the public that the property tax system is fair and transparent. Finally, any study of the crisis we face must be conducted with all deliberate speed.
The assessment process is complex. However, there has been a lack of transparency from the Assessor’s Office. The public cannot afford any delay in implementing real solutions.
That's all House Speaker Madigan – who as the Illinois Chairman of the Democratic Party – needs .. An attack on Berrios, the assessor he personally pushed into office and who is also Madigan's hand-picked chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party.
And don't forget that Speaker Madigan is a co-owner of a property tax appeals law firm in Chicago.
The Illinois Democrats 2017 long, hot summer is getting longer and hotter.
Check out this recent questioning by unhappy activists (6-12-2017) of the Assessor:
Why only “a half hour?”
Why not schedule several hours? Would it steal too much time from his campaigning, or golf game schedule?
The TV station reports officers and firefighters spent several hours rounding up the pigs, with one of the farm animals even wandering a half-mile from the scene of the crash.
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