An incumbent member of the board responsible for reviewing taxpayer appeals of property tax assessments, who billed himself as the sole Republican in Cook County’s property tax determination and appeals process, has secured another four years on that board.
On Tuesday, voters reelected Dan Patlak, of Wheeling, to the First District seat on the Cook County Board of Review.
Patlak had been challenged by lawyer Martin Stack, a Democrat, of Western Springs.
The Board of Review’s First District covers much of northern, western and southern Cook County, including all of the county’s northwestern townships and much of the county’s southwestern suburban corner. It also includes a portion of the city of Chicago, and much of the region around O’Hare International Airport, and portions of Cicero Township and some of the far southern suburbs, as well.
According to unofficial election results reported Tuesday by the Cook County Clerk’s office and the Chicago Board of Elections, Patlak secured 345,628 votes, compared to 317,421 for Stack. Patlak won 52.1 percent of the ballots cast Tuesday and in early voting.
Democratic incumbent Michael Carbonagi, who ran unopposed, also secured another term on the Board of Review, representing the board’s Second District.
The Board of Review exists to hear appeals of property value tax assessments placed on homes and commercial properties by Cook County’s array of township and county-level assessors. During the 2016 tax year, the Board of Review handled more than 476,000 appeals, with about 64 percent of those resulting in an assessment reduction of varying amounts, thus potentially reducing the severity of a property tax hike on an individual property owner.
Patlak, a former real estate valuation professional and a township assessor, was first elected to the Board of Review in 2010. This election he said ran to continue the work he began to make the property tax assessment process more “accessible to taxpayers,” and to stand as the lone Republican in Cook County’s property tax system, to ensure Democrats in power in Cook County don’t use the property tax appeal systems as a way to reward friends and allies.
He is the only non-lawyer on the Board of Review.
Patlak has pledged to continue to only serve as a Board of Review commissioner and hold no other employment as long as he is on the board. The position pays $100,000 per year, with full Cook County government benefits.
In an emailed statement, Patlak said he was "very happy that the people have affirmed the efforts of my staff and I to make the Board of Review more efficient, more transparent and more accessible."