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Kennedy’s study looked at Loop high-rises

Monday, Jun 19, 2017

* Mark Brown takes a look at Chris Kennedy’s own Cook county property tax assessment study, which Brown says “wasn’t thorough enough for me to draw definite conclusions,” but was still eye-opening

Kennedy’s results closely mirrored the findings of a more extensive investigation published recently by the Chicago Tribune, which concluded the property-tax assessment system is fundamentally flawed, to the detriment of those owning the least expensive homes. […]

Unlike the Tribune, Kennedy also looked at the assessments on major downtown commercial properties, which, to my mind, does a better job of making his case that the “system is rigged.”

Kennedy’s study shows it’s not uncommon for major Loop skyscrapers to sell for more than double the market value pegged by the assessor’s office.

“As bad as the residential inaccuracies are, the commercial inaccuracies are greater,” Kennedy told me. “The magnitude of the problem is much larger and the effect on everyone else much worse. These are big dollars.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

15 Comments »
  1. - W Flag - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 11:09 am:

    A cross index of the tax appeals lawyers to the properties could be damning.


  2. - phocion - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 11:09 am:

    A good talking point for Kennedy. The details of Cook County tax classifications, however, make this issue much more difficult to analyze. Cook treats residential, commercial and industrial properties differently for classifications purposes. So even if a loop high rise has an assessment lower than the fair market value (all properties do, by the way), because they are commercial properties, their tax burden is much greater than a residential property.


  3. - Amalia - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 11:12 am:

    the costs would, of course, be passed on. but at least things would be more fair, open, and honest.


  4. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    The really sad part of all this is the long term nature of the manipulation of the system. Democrats have owned Cook County (and Chicago) for decades and this system of rigging the system for the rich has been theirs all that time. It has meant the average taxpayer gets the tax shaft. But the Dems had the gall to say they were battling for the “working people.” However, will people care? Will they finally vote the crooks out? I really doubt it given the importance of identity politics in IL. It’s this kind of political manipulation that leads many of us who don’t live in Chicago to be opposed to any bailout of the city or CPS until these tax issues are fixed.


  5. - DuPage - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 11:33 am:

    At this point, Kennedy should be telling us what his own good points are. So far, his attacks on other Democrats just end up helping Rauner.


  6. - Illinois O'Malley - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 11:35 am:

    @Never, when you say bailout of CPS are you referring to the state paying for teacher pensions? Because right now I’m paying for your non-Chicago teacher and superintendent pensions. As a Chicago resident (and also tax payer in central Illinois) I’d be more than happy with a 100% cost shift so suburbs can pay the pensions of their $300k a year super’s.


  7. - Red fish blue fish - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 11:38 am:

    @DePage did you even read the article? Kennedy is on the right track with this policy issue. Too bad it’s unsexy.


  8. - The Captain - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 11:42 am:

    Hardly a day goes by that Chris Kennedy doesn’t make a really good case that someone like Chris Kennedy should run for Cook County Assessor and clean up this property tax mess.


  9. - NoGifts - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 11:46 am:

    Using “actual sales price” to determine value and then taxes seems impractical. What about buildings that aren’t sold for decades (like many homes?) You need another way to estimate value.


  10. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 11:54 am:

    @Illinois, Yes-bailout for CPS. That is the right term. They wanted to be in control of their district from the start of the legislation that changed how their board was determined. They never allocated sufficient money for their real costs, they have never exercised real control over teacher and support staff salaries, and they have never adjusted their schools to the actual number of students. So as a school board member of a small suburban district that doesn’t pay my Supt. anywhere near $300K and has negotiated reasonable staff salaries and has cut programs when we didn’t have money and as a result have a district that has a balanced budget (in spite of a free and reduced lunch population that mirrors CPS) yes I say bailout.


  11. - Illinois O'Malley - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 11:59 am:

    @Never:
    1. Your welcome (that I pay your teacher and super’s pension, while you contribute zero to Chicago pensions).
    2. Your board should vote to merge with another district and save taxpayers even more money.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 12:00 pm:

    - NeverPoliticallyCorrect -

    lol, if it’s such a bailout, why is Rauner so scared to just say, “I vetoed the $215 million.”?

    Why did Rauner say he did it emotionally? Why has Rauner desperately tried to include that $215 whenever he needs to seem reasonable to “making it right”? Why does Rauner have such issues with Rahm when Rauner emotionally vetoed the $215 million and then wonders aloud about his JRTC zoning issues.

    It’s not a bailout, “bailout” is a word for cover that Raunerites use to hold hostage a deal Rauner blew up on Cullerton and Rahm, but will only say it was emotionally motivated.

    … step in “bailout!”… to continue the squeezing of things and the continued stalemate… “emotionally”.


  13. - Jibba - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 12:18 pm:

    Hey Never:

    In my own downstate county, which was gerrymandered for decades to deny Democrats any say, the rich folks (who are mostly Republicans) get the special treatment…like not having any reassessments of their country club neighborhood for decades at a time. while those of us in working or middle class neighborhoods get reassessed annually. So corruption occurs everywhere, not just in Chicago. You just must like your flavor of it.


  14. - Responsa - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 4:07 pm:

    I believe that Chris Kennedy is zeroing in on an issue–a tangible, easily understood issue– which interests and affects a lot of people. How far he can carry it I don’t know. But he is the only Dem candidate who has scoped out and identified a signature cause. So far.


  15. - atsuishin - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 6:46 pm:

    I am actually surprised Chris Kennedy is making sense here. I would like to see a detailed proposal on reigning in property taxes. This could be a winning issue for Democrats.


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