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Assessor Berrios Seeks $14 Million for Erroneous Exemptions Taken by Taxpayers

Millions of Dollars Being Distributed to Local Taxing Bodies Today

CHICAGO - Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios announced today that his office is seeking $14 million for erroneous exemptions taken by taxpayers. This billing was made possible due to a new law that was initiated by Berrios.

"I think the success of the program has already shown us just how much this new law was needed,” Berrios explained. "Previously, we did not have a law in place to help recover the money unfairly taken from erroneous exemptions or to deter this from happening in the future.”

The erroneous exemption law provides for the collection and distribution of unpaid property taxes, penalties and interest. Close to $6.2 million will be returned to the local taxing bodies today as a result of the new law.

"Each year, Cook County taxpayers lose millions of dollars because people cheat or erroneously claim exemptions,” Berrios said. "At a time when schools and local municipalities are severely struggling with budget issues, it will be helpful for this money to go back to serving the community.”

Local taxing bodies located in each of the county's 38 townships will be receiving some of the pool of money collected due to the erroneous exemptions taken. The total amount of money being distributed in each township varies depending on the amount of erroneous exemptions that were received.

In 2014, approximately $3.4 million was collected due to erroneous exemptions taken within the City of Chicago and approximately $2.8 million was collected for suburban Cook County.

By law, a person is allowed to collect an exemption only on the home that is his or her primary residence.  This new law gives the Cook County Assessor the means to recoup funds from those who have improperly received homeowner, senior, disabled persons' or disabled veterans' exemptions. The law also allows the assessor to administer property tax liens on the homes of those taxpayers who have received undue property tax exemptions.

Berrios proposed the measure shortly after taking office when his administration noticed a high volume of e-mails and anonymous phone calls reporting that people were improperly receiving exemptions. In the vast majority of those cases, the claims were proven to be true. The legislation was passed unanimously by both the House and Senate.

"I am extremely proud of the work and extensive research that went into the development of this new erroneous exemption law. It is sure to have a dramatic and positive impact not only on the struggling, budget-strapped local taxing bodies but on taxpayers throughout the county,” Berrios said.



Past News

02/20/2015Assessor Berrios Seeks $14 Million for Erroneous Exemptions Taken by Taxpayers
02/18/2015Reassessment Notices Mailed to Rogers Park Township Taxpayers
02/17/2015Assessor Berrios Seeks $14 Million for Erroneous Exemptions Taken by Taxpayers
01/30/2015Berrios Extends Senior Exemption Application Deadline for 2014 Property Tax Bills
01/10/2015Berrios Mails Senior Exemption Applications for 2014 Property Tax Bills
12/11/2014Reassessment Notices Mailed to Palos Township Taxpayers
10/10/2014Assessor Berrios Alerts Taxpayers about Fraudulent Solicitation Letters
09/08/2014Reassessment Notices Mailed to Bloom Township Taxpayers
08/26/2014Reassessment Notices Mailed to Rich Township Taxpayers
08/12/2014Reassessment Notices Mailed to Thornton Township Taxpayers
07/28/2014Reassessment Notices Mailed to Orland Township Taxpayers
07/08/2014Reassessment Notices Mailed to Proviso Township Taxpayers
06/19/2014Assessor Berrios Develops New Tax Incentive
06/17/2014Reassessment notices for Calumet are being mailed today and the appeal deadline date will be 7/14/2014
05/20/2014Reassessment notices for Stickney are being mailed today and the appeal deadline date will be 6/20/2014
05/13/2014Lemont Township News Release for Distribution
05/07/2014Reassessment Notices Mailed to Lyons Township Taxpayers
05/06/2014Cook County Assessor’s Office Rolling Meadows Branch Office to Close May 30th
04/28/2014Reassessment Notices Mailed to Berwyn Township Taxpayers
04/15/2014Reassessment Notices Mailed to Oak Park Township Taxpayers
04/02/2014Reassessment Notices Mailed to Worth Township Taxpayers
03/19/2014Reassessment Notices Mailed to Cicero Township Taxpayers
03/07/2014Reassessment Notices Mailed to Bremen Township Taxpayers
02/13/2014Reassessment Notices Mailed to Riverside Township Taxpayers
02/13/2014Reassessment Notices Mailed to River Forest Township Taxpayers
01/15/2014Amnesty Period Allowing for Repayment without Penalties and Interest Concluded December 31, 2013
01/09/2014Assessor Berrios Mails Senior and Senior Freeze Exemption Applications
12/23/2013Assessor Berrios Bills Over $2,000,000 for Erroneous Exemptions Claimed by Taxpayers
12/19/2013Assessor Berrios Bills Over $2,000,000 for Erroneous Exemptions Claimed by Taxpayers
10/16/2013Assessor Berrios Bills First $1 Million for Erroneous Exemptions Claimed by Taxpayers
09/11/2013Reassessment Notices Mailed to Niles Township Taxpayers
09/11/2013Reassessment Notices Mailed to Hanover Township Taxpayers
08/27/2013Reassessment Notices Mailed to Schaumburg Township Taxpayers
08/05/2013Reassessment Notices Mailed to Northfield Township Taxpayers
07/17/2013Governor Signs Exemption Fraud Legislation Developed by Assessor Berrios
07/17/2013Reassessment Notices Mailed to Wheeling Township Taxpayers
06/24/2013Reassessment Notices Mailed to Leyden Township Taxpayers
06/17/2013Cook County Assessor Berrios to Host Local Outreach Session to Help Leyden Township Homeowners Affected by Flooding
06/03/2013Cook County Assessor Berrios to Host Local Outreach Sessions to Help Lyons Township Homeowners Affected by Flooding
06/03/2013Cook County Assessor Berrios to Host Local Outreach Sessions to Help Stickney Township Homeowners Affected by Flooding
05/30/2013Reassessment Notices Mailed to Barrington Township Taxpayers
05/28/2013Illinois General Assembly Passes Exemption Fraud Legislation Developed by Assessor Berrios
05/20/2013Exemption Fraud Legislation Developed by Assessor Berrios Passess the Illinois Senate
05/20/2013Reassessment Notices Mailed to Palatine Township Taxpayers
05/09/2013Cook County Assessor Berrios to Host Local Outreach Session to Help Maine Township Homeowners Affectd by Flooding
04/29/2013Cook County Assessor Berrios to Host Outreach Sessions to Help Taxpayers Affected by Flooding
04/26/2013Reassessment Notices Mailed to New Trier Township Taxpayers
04/23/2013Property Tax Relief Legislation Developed by Assessor Berrios Signed into Law by Governor
04/23/2013Assessor Berrios Extends Deadline for Maine Township Appeals
04/11/2013Reassessment Notices Mailed to Maine Township Taxpayers
04/11/2013Berrios Property Tax Relief Measure Passes Both Houses
04/03/2013Assessor Berrios Announces Appeal Period is Open for Cicero Township Taxpayers
03/15/2013Reassessment Notices Mailed to Elk Grove Township Taxpayers
03/12/2013Berrios Proposes Property Tax Relief Measure
02/22/2013Reassessment Notices Mailed to Evanston Township Taxpayers
02/21/2013Assessor Berrios Mails Renewal Applications for the Disabled Exemptions
02/14/2013Reassessment Notices Mailed to Norwood Park Township Taxpayers
02/08/2013Assessor Berrios Lauds Marty McGarry for Three Decades of Service at the Cook County Assessor’s Office
02/04/2013Property Tax Appeals May Only Be Filed When a Property’s Township is Open for Appeals
01/30/2013Cook County Assessor Berrios Reminds Seniors of Upcoming Senior Exemption Deadline
01/29/2013Assessor Berrios Alerts Taxpayers that the Cook County Treasurer Has Mailed First-Installment Tax Bills
01/28/2013Cook County Assessor Berrios to Host Numerous County-Wide Outreaches to Help Taxpayers
01/04/2013Assessor Berrios Mails Senior Exemption Applications
12/21/2012Assessor Berrios announces receipt of $5.5 million PILOT payment from CHA
12/11/2012Cook County Tax Bills Continue To Be Higher In 2013
12/10/2012Cook County Assessor Berrios Certifies 2012 Assessment
10/09/2012Assessor Berrios announces $5 million PILOT payment from CHA
10/09/2012Assessor Berrios Alerts Taxpayers about Solicitors Charging to File for Missing Property Tax Exemptions
09/28/2012Reassessment Notices Mailed to South Township Taxpayers
09/14/2012Reassessment Notices Mailed to North Township Taxpayers
08/15/2012Reassessment Notices Mailed to Jefferson Township Taxpayers
07/23/2012Reassessment Notices Mailed to West Township Taxpayers
07/02/2012Assessor Berrios Alerts Homeowners to Check Second-Installment Tax Bills for Exemptions
06/25/2012Reassessment Notices Mailed to Hyde Park Township Taxpayers
06/06/2012Second-Installment Property Tax Bills to be Mailed on Time for the First Time in 35 Years
05/18/2012Reassessment Notices Mailed to Lake Township Taxpayers
05/01/2012Preckwinkle, Berrios Urge Passage of Exemption Fraud Legislation
04/11/2012Reassessment Notices Mailed to Lakeview Township Taxpayers
03/27/2012Assessor Berrios Mails Long-Time Occupant Homeowner Exemption Applications
03/13/2012Cook County Assessor Berrios Mails Exemption Booklets to Homeowners
03/08/2012Berrios Urges Seniors to Check Their Mailboxes
03/08/2012Reassessment Notices Mailed to Rogers Park Township Taxpayers
01/27/2012Assessor Berrios Begins 2012 Assessment
12/06/2011Assessor Berrios Releases first-year Report Card
09/30/2011Assessor Berrios Urges Seniors to Check Second-Installment Tax Bills for Exemptions
09/21/2011Reassessment Notices Mailed to Rich Township Taxpayers
09/14/2011Reassessment Notices Mailed to Thornton Township Taxpayers
08/22/2011Reassessment Notices Mailed to Orland Township Taxpayers
08/12/2011Reassessment Notices Mailed to Proviso Township Taxpayers
08/05/2011Reassessment Notices Mailed to Worth Township Taxpayers
07/25/2011Reassessment Notices Mailed to Lemont Township Taxpayers
07/15/2011Reassessment Notices Mailed to Stickney Township Taxpayers
07/12/2011Reassessment Notices Mailed to Lyons Township
06/24/2011Reassessment Notices Mailed to Bremen Township Taxpayers
06/16/2011Reassessment Notices Mailed to Palos Township Taxpayers
06/14/2011Reassessment Notices Mailed to Berwyn Township Taxpayers
06/03/2011Reassessment Notices Mailed to Cicero Township Taxpayers
05/25/2011Assessor Berrios Mails Long-Time Occupant Homeowner Exemption Applications
05/24/2011Reassessment Notices Mailed to Oak Park Township Taxpayers
05/13/2011Assessor Berrios Unveils New Assessment Notice
03/30/2011Cook County Assessor Berrios Certifies 2010 Assessment
03/03/2011Cook County Assessor Berrios Extends Deadline for Senior Citizen Exemption
02/17/2011Cook County Assessor Berrios Urges Seniors to Reapply for Senior Exemption
02/07/2011Cook County Assessor Berrios Mails Exemption Applications to Seniors
01/19/2011Cook County Assessor Berrios Decreases Reassessment Values to Ensure Properties are Fairly Assessed
01/13/2011Reassessment Notices Mailed to Hanover Township Taxpayers
12/29/2010Assessor Berrios’s Office Certifies 27,000 Exemption Certificates of Error
12/28/2010Reassessment Notices Mailed to Northfield Township Taxpayers
12/21/2010Assessor Berrios Revises Assessment Notices to Include Properties' Market Values
11/19/2010Reassessment Notices for Palatine Township Mailed
11/15/2010Tax Bill Related Questions
10/29/2010Reassessment Notices for Wheeling Township Mailed
10/06/2010Reassessment Notices for New Trier Township Mailed
09/21/2010Reassessment Notices for Elk Grove Township Mailed
08/19/2010Reassessment Notices for Maine Township Mailed
07/26/2010Reassessment Notices for Niles Township Mailed
07/15/2010Reassessment Notices for Evanston Township Mailed
07/08/2010Reassessment Notices for Barrington Township Mailed
06/29/2010Reassessment Notices for Norwood Park Township Mailed
02/23/2010Assessment Notices Mailed to Schaumburg Township Taxpayers
02/18/2010Assessment Notices Mailed to Thornton Township Taxpayers
02/11/2010Reassessment Notices Mailed to Lake Township Taypayers
02/04/2010Assessment Notices Mailed to Lemont Township Taxpayers
02/02/2010Assessment Notices Mailed to Bloom Township Taxpayers
01/27/2010Reassessment Notices for North Township Mailed
01/19/2010Assessment Notices Mailed to Hanover Township Taxpayers
01/14/2010Assessment Notices Mailed to Worth Township Taxpayers
01/08/2010Assessment Notices Mailed to Northfield Township Taxpayers
12/30/2009Assessment Notices Mailed to Orland Township Taxpayers
12/23/2009Assessment Notices Mailed to New Trier Township Taxpayers
12/17/2009Reassessment Notices for South Township Mailed
12/15/2009Assessment Notices Mailed to Lyons Township Taxpayers
12/03/2009Assessment Notices Mailed to Proviso Township Taxpayers
11/25/2009Reassessment Notices for West Township Mailed
11/20/2009Assessment Notices Mailed to Palatine Township Taxpayers
11/06/2009Assessment Notices Mailed to Wheeling Township Taxpayers
10/23/2009Assessment Notices Mailed to Stickney Township Taxpayers
10/19/2009Assessment Notices Mailed to Leyden Township Taxpayers
10/09/2009Assessment Notices Mailed to Rich Township Taxpayers
10/02/2009Assessment Notices Mailed to Elk Grove Township Taxpayers
09/25/2009Reassessment Notices for Hyde Park Township Mailed
09/24/2009Assessment Notices Mailed to Maine Township Taxpayers
09/17/2009Assessment Notices Mailed to Niles Township Taxpayers
09/04/2009Assessment Notices Mailed to Barrington Township Taxpayers
09/01/2009Reassessment Notices for Jefferson Township Mailed
08/17/2009Assessment Notices Mailed to Calumet Township Taxpayers
08/11/2009Assessment Notices Mailed to Bremen Township Taxpayers
07/31/2009Reassessment Notices for Lakeview Township Mailed
07/29/2009Assessment Notices Mailed to Palos Township Taxpayers
07/23/2009Reassessment Notices for Berwyn Township Mailed
07/10/2009Reassessment Notices for EvanstonTownship Mailed
07/02/2009Assessment Notices Mailed to Oak Park Township Taxpayers
06/30/2009Reassessment Notices for Rogers Park Township Mailed
06/18/2009Assessment Notices Mailed to Cicero Township Taxpayers
06/15/2009Assessment Notices Mailed to Norwood Park Township Taxpayers
06/01/2009Assessment Notices Mailed to Riverside Township Taxpayers
05/18/2009Assessment Notices Mailed to River Forest Township Taxpayers


Videos (back to top)

Assessor Cracks Down on Deceased Seniors Receiving Property Tax Exemptions


Assessor After $20 Million In Back Property Taxes.


Assessor Joseph Berrios talks about the state law requiring the phasing out of the 7% Expanded Homeowner Exemption (EHE) and his legislative initiatives in Springfield.