Cook County Assessor’s Office Earns 3 National Achievement Awards
Thursday, May 26, 2022
In the categories of information technology, civic education and public information, and county administration and management.
Cook County - The Cook County Assessor’s Office (Assessor’s Office) received three Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo) in the following categories: information technology, civic education and public information, and county administration and management.
NACo is a national organization that seeks to recognize innovations in county governmental services.
NACo recognized the Assessor’s Office for the following achievements:
1. Bringing Fairness and Transparency in Property Assessments
To provide the best services to homeowners in Cook County – the largest market-based assessment jurisdiction in the United States – Assessor Fritz Kaegi tasked the Data team with the development of a new valuation model. The goal of this was to improve assessment accuracy, equity, and transparency. Data staff created a new in-house residential valuation model using free software and open-source algorithms that was first introduced in 2019.
2. Conversations about Racial Equity and Real Estate Initiative
Over the past two years, the Assessor's Office conducted a series of discussions about how race impacts our work as assessors. These discussions have also explored the ways race and governmental actions have historic and current impacts on local real estate markets. Through these virtual "Racial Equity and Real Estate" conversations, experts from Princeton University, The University of Chicago, and Duke University joined local community developers, realtors, and artists for a series of rich and unique discussions.
3. Senior Citizens Aren't Getting Any Younger
The Assessor’s Office administers property tax exemptions for residential property owners in Cook County. These exemptions provide significant savings to senior homeowners. Prior to Assessor Fritz Kaegi’s administration, seniors were required to apply for the Senior Exemption every year, proving they are still over the age of 65. Assessor Fritz Kaegi championed a bill that amends the Illinois Property Tax Code so that a homeowner who has been granted a Senior Exemption will not need to reapply for the exemption each year.
“These awards are a testament to our continued commitment to improve processes for homeowners and staff,” said Assessor Kaegi. “I am especially proud of my team for proactively identifying innovative solutions to ease administrative burdens and bring advanced technology to our office.”
Cook County is a proud member of NACo and received a total of 13 awards this year in a variety of categories. Click here to see the full list.
NACo President Larry Johnson said, “All across the country, counties are working tirelessly to support residents and drive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This year's Achievement Award-winning programs showcase how counties work every day to build healthy, safe, and thriving communities.”
For more information about awards granted to the Assessor’s Office, visit www.cookcountyassessor.com/awards.