Chicago Tribune Publishes Three-part Series on Cook County Property Tax System
Today the Chicago Tribune published a three-part series of investigative reporting on the Cook County property tax system and the appeals process entitled “The Tax Divide”. Tribune reporters are examining 1) how the tax burden is allocated between more and less affluent communities and the apparent lack of uniformity based upon the Tribune’sfindings, 2) how the appeals process exacerbates the inequity in the property tax system, and 3) how former Assessor James Houlihan and his successor Joseph Berrios have dealt with errors in the assessment process.
The story focuses primarily on residential properties and assessments. The Tribune is involved in litigation with the Assessor relating to an FOIA request for commercial property information.
The property tax is the single most important source of revenue to Illinois school districts and most other taxing bodies. All participants in the property tax system – taxpayers, taxing districts, and assessing officials – must have confidence that the system is fair and producing relatively accurate results. The Tribune series raises important questions concerning the operation of the Cook County property tax system with its own analysis of Cook County assessment data.
We urge you to review this reporting and draw your own conclusions.