Cook County Assessor’s Office Recognized for Digital Innovation
Thursday, July 22, 2021
National Association of Counties praises the office’s online advancements
Cook County – The Cook County Assessor’s Office (Assessor’s Office) has been recognized with a 2021 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for its work in moving its paper-driven operations onto more user-friendly digital platforms.
Up until 2020, the assessment of more than 1.9 million parcels still relied heavily on paper applications and forms. For the first time in the history of the Assessor’s Office, applications for both property tax exemptions and assessment appeals were fully accessible online. Under the leadership of Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi, the office made a significant leap forward in the technological modernization of the third-largest assessment jurisdiction in the nation.
“This is a huge milestone toward the full modernization of our office. We launched both of the new online appeal and exemption systems just prior to Illinois’ Stay at Home order due to COVID-19,” Assessor Kaegi said. “The launch of online applications ensured the safety of the public and our employees while maintaining a high level of service.”
NACo President Gary Moore said, “Over the past year, county officials and frontline employees have demonstrated bold, inspirational leadership. This year’s Achievement Award winning programs illustrate the innovative ways counties build healthy, safe, and vibrant communities across America.”
To date, the office has processed approximately 125,000 digital appeal applications and approximately 130,000 exemption applications. The implementation of these online tools is part of a larger project to enhance the technology used by the Assessor’s Office, which will streamline administrative processes for staff and make the property tax system more accessible for taxpayers.
The digital innovation efforts of the office were submitted for consideration under a program titled “File Smarter, Not Harder: How the Assessor’s Office Went Digital” in the category of Information Technology.