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Andrea Raila
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Cook County’s escalating property tax bills are not just due to declining homeowner exemptions. Property taxes continue to soar because legislative leaders refuse to address specific Cook County property tax and assessment problems. In 1998 Cook County Assessor James Houlihan assembled a Tax Policy Forum for conducting a public examination of the Cook County property tax system. Recognized experts, including the Civic Federation and Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois, were chosen because of their long-standing dedication to property tax reform. I joined this coalition of some 285 individuals at 21 meetings to review the tax burdens of various property classes. One of the primary areas of weakness identified in the Cook County property tax system was the classification system. Classification of properties makes the system complex and places the county at a competitive disadvantage. Because commercial and industrial properties are assessed at higher levels than residential properties, and their property taxes are higher than those in the collar counties. Cook County assesses homes at 10% of market value and businesses at 25%. It is this excessive 2.5% spread, that allows the State Department of Revenue, to impose today’s 2.9786 state multiplier--- up more than 60% over the last 25 years when in 1984 when it was 1.8445. Even with the accelerated growth of market values peaking in 2006-2007, the state imposed multiplier continued to increase throughout the real estate “boom” years. But over the last 25 years, with the growth of the state multiplier exceeding 60% —the city of Chicago’s aggregate tax rate has dropped 110% from .1016 to .04816--- yet taxpayers pay more today in property taxes than they did 25 years ago. The only way to control escalating property taxes is to place growth caps on all property tax triennial reassessments, and rid Cook County of its classification system so that assessments are at the same level with all the other 101 counties. Implementing uniform assessment level practices would reduce and potentially eliminate a state imposed multiplier on all Cook County tax bills which raises everyone’s initial assessment tax by 190%. Andrea Raila Candidate for Cook County Assessor www.Citizens4Raila.com
Cook County’s escalating property tax bills are not just due to declining homeowner exemptions. Property taxes continue to soar because legislative leaders refuse to address specific Cook County property tax and assessment problems. In 1998 Cook County Assessor James Houlihan assembled a Tax Policy Forum for conducting a public examination of the Cook County property tax system. Recognized experts, including the Civic Federation and Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois, were chosen because of their long-standing dedication to property tax reform. I joined this coalition of some 285 individuals at 21 meetings to review the tax burdens of various property classes. One of the primary areas of weakness identified in the Cook County property tax system was the classification system. Classification of properties makes the system complex and places the county at a competitive disadvantage. Because commercial and industrial properties are assessed at higher levels than residential properties, and their property taxes are higher than those in the collar counties. Cook County assesses homes at 10% of market value and businesses at 25%. It is this excessive 2.5% spread, that allows the State Department of Revenue, to impose today’s 2.9786 state multiplier--- up more than 60% over the last 25 years when in 1984 when it was 1.8445. Even with the accelerated growth of market values peaking in 2006-2007, the state imposed multiplier continued to increase throughout the real estate “boom” years. But over the last 25 years, with the growth of the state multiplier exceeding 60% —the city of Chicago’s aggregate tax rate has dropped 110% from .1016 to .04816--- yet taxpayers pay more today in property taxes than they did 25 years ago. The only way to control escalating property taxes is to place growth caps on all property tax triennial reassessments, and rid Cook County of its classification system so that assessments are at the same level with all the other 101 counties. Implementing uniform assessment level practices would reduce and potentially eliminate a state imposed multiplier on all Cook County tax bills which raises everyone’s initial assessment tax by 190%. Andrea Raila for Cook County Assessor www.Citizens4Raila.com