Property relief for Cook County homeowners

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A Statement from Joseph Berrios on New Homeowners’ Relief Legislation  


On Thursday, Illinois lawmakers passed a plan that will offer much needed relief to Cook County homeowners.

I have spent this week in Springfield advocating for this emergency residential property relief (SB3638), working with legislative leaders and rank-and-file lawmakers. I would like to praise House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie and Senator Terry Link for sponsoring the bill, as well as Governor Pat Quinn and Mayor Richard M. Daley for their support on this legislation.

The national economic crisis, along with Cook County’s 10/25 Ordinance, has created an undue burden on homeowners. The tax burden is being shifted to the homeowners because commercial and industrial properties are receiving large reductions in assessed value because of the new 10/25 Ordinance.

 A property tax task force met eight times to analyze the 10/25 Ordinance, whose chief sponsor was Cook County Board Commissioner Forrest Claypool. Chaired by Don Haider of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, the panel met eight times. It heard testimony from experts and weighed the data presented to it.

The task force never received data from the assessor or others to validate the proposed new 25 percent levels for commercial and industrial properties. Haider recently said he wondered whether adoption of the 10/25 Ordinance would shift more of the tax burden to the residential property class. That is exactly what happened.

The 10/25 Ordinance was proposed by the Assessor, who then masked the increased property market values and backed them into the 10/25 Ordinance.

The new legislation will continue the increased homeowners’ exemption, creating a tax break for three years. This will include a county-wide exemption this year of $20,000, then $16,000 in year two, and finally, $12,000 – providing much-needed assistance to homeowners as our economy continues to recover.

I am proud to have spent this past week in Springfield working on behalf of Cook County residential property owners. I promise to bring that same commitment to the Assessor’s office when I am elected on November 2nd.

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