Cook County Board of Commissioners Meeting – July 19, 2017
Significant Decisions Made:
Significant topics discussed:
Observer - Syvia Tillman Meeting lasted: 9:30 a.m. until after 6:30 p.m.
Cook County Board of Commissioners Finance Committee Hearing - July 18, 2017
Purpose: To discuss the alleged unfairness in the Cook County Property Tax Assessment System - an issue recently raised in a series of articles in the Chicago Tribune.
County Assessor Berrios and five senior professionals from his staff testified in front of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Also supplying testimony were Christopher Berry from the University of Chicago, Robert Weissburg, and seven spokespersons representing various community groups from low income neighborhoods within the city of Chicago.
Assessor's Office Testimony:
Assessor Berrios and his staff testified regarding the methodology used to determine real estate assessments. The following points were made:
Those testifying for the assessor’s office emphasized their high degree of professionalism and their dedication to do whatever they could to be fair and uniform in their assessments. Assessor Berrios called for an independent body to be created to examine their practices and to recommend changes that would improve the system.
Other Expert Testimony:
Christopher Berry from the University of Chicago and Robert Weissburg, an expert in modeling, gave a different perspective.
Following the testimony, Board commissioners asked clarifying questions and inquired as to when the independent group would be formed and ready to begin its analysis of the current system. There was no commitment as to the date that would happen.
Additional Finance Committee Business:
Cook County staff came back to the board for a change order to receive additional funds for the Measurement & Maintenance segment of a $60 million contract already approved by the Board.
Observer - Georgia Gebhardt
Cook County Board of Commissioners Meeting - June 28, 2017
Significant Topics Discussed:
After a series of Chicago Tribune articles calling out the Cook County Assessor’s office for failure to provide assessment fairness between high and low valued properties, several Commissioners called for Cook County Assessor Barrios to attend a Finance Committee hearing made up of all board members to explain, defend, and take questions on the current process. One commissioner said he wanted the hearing held in July.
Nancy Marcus, Cook County League of Women Voters Co-President, testified that it is past time for the Commissioners to use the County’s Performance Standards in evaluating the elected offices, and the Assessor's office should be focused on doing accurate assessments in the first instance, and not opening up more avenues to contest property appraisals.
Issues Referred to Committee:
Other Items of Interest:
Observer: Diane Edmundson Meeting Length: 90 minutes
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