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The Tax Divide

Inequities and Errors Riddle Cook County's Property Tax Assessments

For years, the Cook County assessor’s office overvalued low-priced properties while undervaluing high-priced ones. The deeply flawed system led to inequities in property taxes, punishing the poor and small business owners, while giving the wealthy unsanctioned tax breaks and lining the pockets of politically connected tax attorneys. Our series of stories is in partnership with the Chicago Tribune.

Featured

How the Cook County Assessor Failed Taxpayers

Joseph Berrios' error-ridden commercial and industrial assessments punish property owners, benefit lawyers.

Other Entries

Cook County’s Residential Property Tax Assessments Deeply Unfair, Independent Study Confirms

Findings that assessments were error-ridden and burdened the poor undermine Assessor Joseph Berrios’ claims that he properly valued residential property.

As March Primary Nears, Study on Cook County Property Tax System Still Under Wraps

Initial mid-December deadline for review gives way to new release date: late February.

Rauner Takes Aim at State Lawmakers Who Appeal Property Taxes

But the Illinois governor's effort may have little impact on the system.

Ethics Board Fines Cook County Assessor Over Campaign Contributions

Rulings add to controversy surrounding Assessor Joseph Berrios, though Berrios’ lawyers say contribution limits are unconstitutional.

Cook County Assessor’s Old-School Politics Come With a Price for Taxpayers

As Berrios’ court fight drags on, critics and others fear patronage hurts the office’s property tax work.

Watchdog Group Calls for Reform to Cook County Assessor’s Office

Pressure continues to mount for greater transparency and oversight of the office.

Lawsuit Targets Berrios Over Unfair, Error-Riddled Assessments

Attorneys are asking a judge to force Berrios to adopt reforms and are seeking a monitor to oversee the process.

I Spent Years Reporting on Chicago’s Property Tax System. Here’s What Got Me Out of the Weeds.

Behind all the technical terms and the statistics is a story about the simple concept of fairness.

How We Analyzed Commercial and Industrial Property Assessments in Chicago and Cook County

An in-depth analysis of hundreds of thousands of property tax records under Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios.

Cook County Assessor: Office Cuts Make It Tough to Get Tax Bills Out On Time

Embattled assessor Joseph Berrios said he has already saved the county millions.

Cook County Assessor Faces Questions About Property Tax Inequity

After reporting showed that Cook County’s property tax assessments punish the poor and reward the rich, Assessor Joseph Berrios is called before a public board to explain.

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