Cook County Assessor News

New law would require landlords in Cook County, possibly elsewhere in IL, to give financial data to tax assessors

By Dan Churney | Mar 14, 2019

If a Democrat-sponsored bill passes in Springfield, owners of countless rental properties in Cook County and potentially elsewhere in Illinois will have to turn over the property's financial records every year to their county assessor's office for tax calculation.

Housing organizations OK to sue Cook Assessor over ex-assessor's 'discriminatory' practices

By Jonathan Bilyk | Feb 8, 2019

Two Chicago-based housing assistance organizations have won the right to continue, for now, with a lawsuit against the Cook County Assessor’s office for past property tax assessment practices they claim discriminated against black and Hispanic homeowners, particularly in Chicago.

Ald. Burke indicted over alleged attempted shake down; Property tax appeal law firm at heart of charges

By Jonathan Bilyk | Jan 3, 2019

Powerful Chicago Ald. Ed Burke was indicted Thursday on a charge of attempting to shake down the owner of a Chicago fast food restaurant seeking to renovate their establishment. And at the center of the charge stands Burke's law firm, which has built a huge business specializing in appealing property tax assessments.

New Cook County assessor promises more efficient, less contentious office

By John Sammon | Dec 27, 2018

Cook County taxpayers should expect a less troubled and more efficient Cook County Assessor's office, a spokesman for newly elected Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi promised.

Judge: Federal court not right place for homeowner's tax assessment discrimination claims vs Cook assessor

By Scott Holland | Sep 27, 2018

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a former Chicago Heights homeowner, who claimed he and other homeowners in poor and minority neighborhoods in Cook County were forced to pay more than they should in property taxes because, he said, Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios inflated the taxable value of homes in those neighborhoods.

Cook County OK to restrict campaign cash from lawyers, others seeking 'official action,' appeals court says

By Jonathan Bilyk | Sep 25, 2018

A state appellate court has again ruled Cook County has the power to make ethics rules that apply to county officers, including the Cook County Assessor, this time finding the County Board did not overstep in prohibiting real estate lawyers and otheers from contributing to the campaign coffers of county officials when they are seeking “official action” from the county.

Federal lawsuit: Cook Co. makes it too difficult to appeal big tax bills; state law only enables

By Scott Holland | Jul 18, 2018

A group of property owners have filed a federal complaint challenging the legality, not only of their Cook County property tax assessments, but also of the state law that governs the assessment process and which they said aided the county's efforts to make it overly difficult to effectively appeal tax bills.

Chicago housing groups: Lawsuit vs Berrios over discriminatory assessment practices more than tax dispute

By Jonathan Bilyk | May 16, 2018

Two Chicago-based housing assistance organizations have asked a Cook County judge to reject the attempt by lame duck Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios to sidestep their discrimination lawsuit, saying their legal action over allegedly racially discriminatory property tax assessment practices is more than just a dispute over property taxes.

Cook County Assessor sues board of ethics over campaign contribution fines

By Noddy A. Fernandez | May 1, 2018

While his days in office are numbered after losing in the Democratic primary election in March, Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios is suing the Cook County Board of Ethics and board members Peggy Daley, David Grossman, Thomas Szromba, Juliet Sorensen and Von Matthews for allegedly fining him for certain contributions that were made to his unsuccessful re-election campaign.

Cook County assessor accused of improperly assessing taxes for couple who qualified for IDNR freeze

By Louie Torres | Mar 21, 2018

A couple has sued Cook County, Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios and Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas for allegedly failing to properly assess their property for tax purposes.

Northwestern Business College Inc. accuses county officials of attempting to collect back taxes

By Louie Torres | Feb 19, 2018

A school is suing Cook County officials for allegedly attempting to collect back taxes on tax-exempt properties.

Cook County candidates off the March Democrat primary ballot following decisions by judge and electoral board

By Karen Kidd | Feb 6, 2018

Most of a slate of Cook County would-be candidates for the Democratic primary who took their fight to continue their races to federal court are now off the March ballot following separate decisions by a federal judge and the Cook County Electoral Board in January.

Berrios lawsuit: Cook County ethics ordinance illegally limits his campaign cash, imposes fines

By Scott Holland | Jan 31, 2018

Cook County Assessor and chairman of the county's Democratic Party Joe Berrios has sued the Cook County Board over campaign donation limits.

Lawsuit: Cook County assessments racially discriminate, make Hispanic, black homeowners pay higher taxes

By Jonathan Bilyk | Dec 14, 2017

Two organizations whose mission is to help homeowners in two predominantly minority and economically struggling Chicago neighborhoods have filed suit against the office of Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios, asserting the office’s assessment practices have discriminated against Hispanic and black homeowners by under-assessing properties in wealthier and whiter neighborhoods and communities, pushing a greater tax burden on those with less means to legally protect themselves.

IL appeals court: Alleged assessor clerical error won't excuse $58K back tax bill for improper homestead exemption

By John Sammon | Dec 5, 2017

A state appeals court has ruled an alleged clerical error from the Cook County Assessor's Office does not excuse an Illinois woman from owing back property taxes, penalties and interest totaling $58,377 under an improper homestead exemption for the years 2007 through 2013.

Challenger in Cook County Assessor's race asks court to unmask creators of sham campaign websites

By Jonathan Bilyk | Oct 18, 2017

A Democrat running to unseat incumbent Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios has asked a court to help him unmask the people he claims are responsible for creating sham websites and social media pages for his campaign.

High property taxes fuel record number of Cook County assessment challenges in 2016

By Pam Wright | May 25, 2017

The Cook County Board of Review has settled a record number of cases in closing its 2016 session, fueled largely by property taxpayers seeking relief from some of the highest property taxes in the country.

Appeals panel: Cook County can go back three years to grab taxes for improper homestead exemptions

By Dan Churney | Mar 20, 2017

A state appellate panel has upheld a lower court ruling that the Illinois Property Tax Code allows the Cook County Assessor’s Office to reach back three years, to claim unpaid taxes on a south suburban house that had an invalid homestead exemption. 

Second-installment property tax bills may rattle some suburbanites

By Dawn Geske | Mar 1, 2017

Cook County property tax bills have hit residents’ mailboxes and were due to the county on March 1 - but taxpayers especially may not like what they see when the second installment bills arrive four months from now.

IL Supreme Court: Berrios can't block county Inspector General's investigation at Assessor's office

By Jonathan Bilyk | Dec 1, 2016

The state’s highest court has declared Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios must comply with subpoenas issued by the county’s Inspector General, saying a Cook County ordinance empowering the Inspector General to “detect, deter and prevent corruption, fraud, waste, mismanagement, unlawful political discrimination or misconduct in the operation of County government” can be constitutionally applied to investigations of potential misconduct in the offices of elected county officials, like Berrios.

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