The thrust of reform of Cook County’s property tax system in recent years has been toward reducing the number of appeals and eliminating insider dealing.
Abdelnasser Rashid, a former aide to Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi and former Cook County Clerk David Orr, is the candidate in the Board of Review’s 1st District Democratic primary who would most aggressively pursue those goals.
The Board of Review is a little-understood body, but the decisions by its three commissioners affect the tax bills of every property owner in the county. Rashid would work to make sure the board grants appeals only on the basis of a property’s fair market value, rather than to placate those property owners who make the most noise or who hire the most politically connected lawyers. Rashid also wants to make more transparent how the board reaches assessment decisions by spelling out the market assumptions, data and vacancy rates used in its calculations.
As an aide to Kaegi, Rashid spent the last year working in support of a stalled bill in the Legislature that would require commercial property owners to disclose information that’s necessary to assess properties accurately and fairly. Rashid correctly points out that an opaque assessment system, especially in a state that has high property taxes, is a deterrent to businesses coming to Illinois because they don’t know what their property tax bills will be from one year to the next.
Also running is property tax appeals lawyer Tammy Wendt, an attorney for convicted former Police Officer Jason Van Dyke who is backed by the Fraternal Order of Police, Chicago Lodge No. 7. The winner in this race will face Republican incumbent Dan Patlak in the fall.
For more information about this race and others, including candidate questionnaires, go to our Illinois primary voting guide. Our newspaper is owned by a group of civic-minded and, in some cases, politically active investors; for details, see our owner information page.
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