Berrios: We will be fiscally responsible, yet offer the highest level of customer service to property owners

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Berrios becomes ninth Cook County Assessor in history, first minority to hold the office       


 Chicago, IL – Joseph Berrios of Chicago was installed as the new Cook County Assessor on Monday during a swearing-in ceremony conducted by Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans.

“I’m ready to do my part to make sure the Assessor’s office operates in the most cost-effective, efficient manner possible. We will be fiscally responsible, yet offer the highest level of customer service to property owners,” Berrios said. “Beginning today, I am dedicating all of my time to being the Assessor of Cook County. Taxpayers deserve nothing less.”

Berrios has a long history in serving the people. He was an Illinois State Representative from 1982 to 1988, when he became a commissioner on the Cook County Board of Review, which oversees property tax appeals. Berrios served on the Board of Review from 1988 until becoming assessor.

Berrios announced several initiatives after being sworn in, including:

  • Formation of a blue-ribbon panel to examine day-to-day operations to achieve savings, and to put into place a simple homeowner relief plan. This hasn’t been done in more than three decades. The panel is still being assembled, but will include many notable members, such as Donald Haider and Chuck Powell.
  •   Issuing a new assessment notice designed to provide more information than ever before. Homeowners will be able to see how their property compares to others in their neighborhood. This new notice will also show how the property’s assessment fair market value has increased or decreased over a five-year period.
  •  Working with legislative leaders to eliminate the annual senior tax exemption renewal requirement.
  •  Working with lawmakers to double the “Returning Veterans’ Exemption.” This would raise the exemption from $5,000 (EAV) to $10,000 (EAV) for those soldiers returning from areas of conflict. It would be valid for one year after they return to Cook County.
  • The Cook County Assessor is an elected official who is responsible for setting fair and accurate values on more than 1.8 million properties throughout Cook County.

The Assessor’s Office has existed since 1932. Previous Cook County assessors include James Houlihan (1997-2010), Thomas Hynes (1978-1997), Thomas Tully (1974-1978), P.J. Cullerton (1958-1974), John McGuane (1958-1958), Frank Keenan (1954-1958), John S. Clark (1934-1954), J.L. Jacobs (1932-1934).

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