Action Now members joined residents and community groups to demand justice on the property tax problem in Cook County.
Cook County Assessor Joe Berrio's office is using a deeply flawed formula to assess taxes, and folks living in minority communities are paying the price. Berrios' methods creates an unfair advantage for wealthy communities, at the expense of low-income homeowners. Pricier homes are assessed at a lower price, and taxed accordingly, while lower-priced homes are paying taxes that are higher than their homes are worth.
Donna Roberts, an Action Now member and homeowner from Englewood, is a taxpayer that has been taken advantage of by the County’s assessment scheme. Donna has been through the appeals process with the County Assessor’s office THREE times, with her “adjustment” amounting to a refund of less than $100! Not to mention the difficult process involving the extensive paperwork to even get the assessment reviewed. Needless to say, this system is broken.
To make matters worse, Assessor Berrios admitted to knowing the current system is flawed, and boasted in 2015 about his office's new and improved property valuation system. A new system that was funded by the MacArthur Foundation and designed to address system inequities was not used by the assessor’s office, despite promises from Berrios that it would resolve many of the problems of the old system.
We are demanding more transparency in how taxes are assessed, that the County use a more fair and equitable system that the Assessor's own office agreed to use in 2015, and we are demanding a refund to people that have paid more in taxes than they should have. The current system is more of the same politics in Chicago and has the most vulnerable suffering the consequences of injustice while waiting for our elected officials to do the right thing.