Wheaton — Rep Jeanne Ives, who is running against Gov Rauner for the Republican nomination, has long called for reforms to the way property taxes are calculated. She made the case over the last year that the system used is grossly inaccurate.
Now, in the wake of a multi-part series on Cook County’s Property Tax system, that was reported by the Chicago Tribune, Rep Ives’ campaign on Monday put out the following press release that calls for the Cook County Assessor, Joe Berrios to resign.
She also claimed in effect that Gov Rauner is a “Johnnie Come Lately” to the subject that she has worked on for over a year.
With property taxes being at the top of voters discontent with Illinois government, this could be a key issue developing in the fight for the Republican nomination, as well as in the general election next November.
IVES PRESS RELEASE, Issued on December 11, 2017
“Despite his promises of property tax reform, Gov. Rauner refused to take charge when he had the chance. He refused to lead on this important issue… Rauner hides from his record, while I stand on mine.”
December 11, 2017 – On Sunday, the Chicago Tribune published Jason Grotto’s fourth feature article about the mismanaged and corrupt property tax assessment system in Cook County. The headline, “Assessor’s Estimates Defy Logic, Benefit Lawyers” is stunning, yet entirely accurate. The paper’s editorial page followed up with a scathing opinion piece stating Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios is “bad at his job.” In response to the recent calls for Berrios to step down and the report itself, Republican candidate for Governor and State Representative Jeanne Ives issued the following statement:
“Governor Rauner is late to the game. His call for Berrios to step down is little more than political convenience. He is, once again, trying to hide from his record, while I stand on mine. In February, I filed legislation for a property tax task force that would evaluate our system statewide worked to expose and remedy many of the issues we are discussing today. When the Democrat leadership blocked my legislation, I approached the Rauner administration to run the task force through his executive order authority. My request was ignored. Despite his promises of property tax reform, Governor Rauner refused to take charge when he had the chance. He refused to lead on this important issue.
“I filed this legislation because I and my colleagues, including townships assessors, know how inaccurate assessments unfairly affect the school funding formula and unfairly shift the tax burden between different property owners. The fact that this is a statewide problem was revealed during a legislative committee hearing on school funding when I questioned superintendents about their property tax evaluations, one superintendent revealed that his county had not undergone a reassessment in 35 years.”
Governor Rauner looked the other way when he had a chance to effect the change Illinois homeowners desperately need. He could have taken charge in February. He didn’t.
“Today, I join Chris Kennedy in calling for Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios to step down from his position. Under his leadership the Cook County Assessor’s office has an accuracy rating three times worse than the normal range. His office has the highest appeal rate to the state property tax appeal board and the highest rate of those appeals being affirmed in favor of the property owner. His corrupt system failed to use best practices in assessing property, update their computer assisted modeling of assessments, and failed to respond to requests for transparency.
“Governor Rauner will try to tell you our Property Tax System is a ‘broken system.’ That is incorrect. Our property tax system is working exactly as intended by the Chicago Democrats who designed it. It benefits the politically connected at the expense of those in this state without their wealth and clout.”