Democratic candidate for Cook County assessor Joe Berrios on Tuesday release a plan for veterans and active duty military personnel who are property owners in Cook County.
â€œOur veterans deserve any type of assistance we can offer,â€ Berrios said. â€œThey have sacrificed a great deal and this is a small way to help them out, without burdening the tax base. If elected, these are a few initiatives that I will implement.â€
Berrios plans to double the â€œReturning Veteranâ€™s Exemptionâ€ from $5,000 estimated assessment value to $10,000. Those qualifying would be veterans returning from areas of conflict, and the exemption would be valid for the year they return to Cook County, as well as one year after.
â€œThe number of those who qualify is small, but the effects of increasing the reduction would be of great value,â€ Berrios said. â€œIt would show our appreciation upon a soldierâ€™s return to Cook County, and also help with the adjustment of returning home during such difficult economic times.â€
Berrios also plans to:
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Create a â€œDeployed Military Personnel Exemptionâ€
Cook County does not have an exemption for deployed military personnel.Â I will work with legislatures to create this exemption.Â The exemption would mirror the Returning Veterans Exemption, but would help military personnel and their families while the soldier is deployed. Â The savings would be $10,000 EAV for each year that the service-member is deployed.
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Expand outreach for the military personnel and veteran exemptions
There are currently exemptions for disabled veterans and returning veterans, but participation in these exemptions could be improved.Â Currently, outreach on these exemptions is word of mouth from one veteran to another.Â The assessorâ€™s office could work more closely with VFWs, Veteran Affairs offices, and other veteran support organizations.
Since announcing his run for assessor, Berrios has said that he would cross-train employees at the assessorâ€™s office to perform outreach for seniors, and now veterans.
â€œThe cost would be minimal, but the reward would be great for our veterans,â€ Berrios said. â€œItâ€™s the least we could do to honor them for their service to our country.â€
For more information on Berrios and his plan for the assessorâ€™s office, visit www.electjoeberrios.com.