Chicago Tribune Columnist, Eric Zorn, has an interesting column today titled, “Political claims + property taxes = big confusion“, regarding the controversy over Governor Rod Blagojevich’s property tax assessment. The Governor has a home in Ravenswood Manor, a neighborhood within the Albany Park area of Chicago. Ravenswood Manor is a very nice neighborhood bordered by the Chicago River on the east, Sacramento on the west, Lawrence on the north and Montrose on the south.
Is the assessment fair? That’s a hard question to answer given that the Cook County Property Assessment Process is such a mystery. Looking at the information provided on the Cook County Assessors Property Search System, you would think that several factors are taken into consideration when a property is assessed. Yet, yesterday in a discussion on property taxes in my office, a very experienced Realtor said that when she appealed her property assessment she was told that it was based only on square footage. Regarding Blagojevich’s assessment Zorn writes, “A spokesman for Cook County Assessor James Houlihan said that this year’s oddly low figure compensated for the oddly high figure from six years ago…”
If we don’t understand the assessment process, we can’t evaluate the outcomes.