Doubek: Who's Assessing the Assessor? Voters Are, on Their Own

Government doesn’t hit any closer to where we live than this.

We’re just a couple months from the March 20th primary when Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios will face two Democratic challengers, Fritz Kaegi and Andrea Raila.

Berrios, who also is the Cook County Democratic Party chairman, has been under the microscope since last June when the Chicago Tribune and Pro Publica Illinois published a four-part series that concluded Berrios oversaw a flawed property tax system that undervalued homes and businesses owned by wealthier people and overvalued homes and businesses owned by poorer people and those in predominantly minority neighborhoods.

It reminded us that assessment appeals reward lawyers, some of whom also are prominent officials and Berrios allies, including House Speaker Michael Madigan and City Council Finance Chairman Ed Burke.

In practical terms, if the series’ conclusions are true, it means poorer Cook County residents of likely are paying more in property taxes than they should be, while wealthier ones are paying less.

Read the rest at the Chicago Sun-Times.

About the Author
  • Madeleine Doubek

    Madeleine Doubek is an award-winning journalist who spent 32 years covering local and state government and politics. She previously served as publisher of Reboot Illinois. She has won several regional and national journalism awards during her career.