Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi was unable to push through his proposal for what he considered improving the state appraisal system for property owners. Mr. Fritz Kaegi was pushing for large changes that he said would “improve the accuracy, fairness, and predictability” of the valuations that determine a property owners property taxes.

The bill, SB 1379, would have made it a requirement for commercial property owners to disclose income and expenses so they could utilize that information into their valuations. Currently, there is no such requirement in Cook County. The bill had initially won Senate approval by a large margin last month and was set for another hearing until it was pulled from the agenda late last week.

There is a bit of a conflict of interest for the member that controls the House as Speaker Michael Madigan and ultimately led the charge to not allow the bill to continue. In a publication by the Chicago Tribune, the publisher found that “Madigan is a founding partner in the six-member firm that has filed appeals on nearly $8.6 billion in assessed value since Berrios took office in December 2010, the most of any firm, according to the appeals analysis. From 2011 to 2016, Madigan & Getzendanner won reductions of 20 percent from the initial values of their clients’ properties, totaling nearly $1.7 billion, the analysis found.

While the loss stings for the Cook County assessor, he vowed to continue the effort to change the system this fall. He said of the proposal that it “remains the best first legislative step toward reform of the property tax system”. We will continue to monitor the bill’s progress this legislative year as it would have a tremendous impact to property owners.