Property Tax Reform Bill Picks Up New Union Endorsements

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

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The Cook County Assessor’s Office announced today that five unions agreed to endorse SB 1379, a significant legislative property tax reform effort led by Senator Toi Hutchinson and Assistant Majority Leader Will Davis and supported by Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi.

The bill is scheduled for a vote in the General Assembly’s House Revenue Committee at 8 a.m. on Thursday, May 9, 2019.

The recent endorsements come from Teamsters Joint Council 25, SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Unite Here, ATU Local 38 and the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters.

SB 1379, the Data Modernization Bill, would give the Cook County Assessor’s Office the ability to collect operating income and expense data for income-generating, commercial properties. Collecting income and expense data up front?—?on an anonymized and bulk basis—would bring Cook County (and other counties in Illinois who choose to opt-in to this practice) in line with professional practices used by Assessors in at least 17 other states.

“There is broad support for this bill,” said Assessor Kaegi. “Working people, real estate investors, community organizations and south suburban mayors are all asking for this bill because it would provide more transparency in assessments and less uncertainty in the market.”

Earlier this week, SB 1379 also picked up endorsements from the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) and U.S. Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. MPC said the bill would provide “a fairer system” while Rep. Garcia said it would “modernize the property assessment system.”

Other unions who previously announced their support for SB 1379 include AFSCME 31; UFCW Local 881; Chicago Teachers Union and SEIU Local 73.

These recent endorsements of the bill solidify the support for this common sense legislation. Previously announced supporters of SB 1379 include Brookfield Properties’ Retail Group (owner of Water Tower Place), International Council of Shopping Centers and BMO Harris Bank, Community Renewal Society, Chicago Rehab Network, Latin United Community Housing Association, county and township assessors across the state, the South Suburban Mayors & Managers Association and Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot.

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