From the campaign of Dan Patlak for the Cook County Board of Review…
Two changes recently made to the property tax code by Governor Quinn and the state legislature are bad for taxpayers and should be repealed.
The first change is a “Senior Penalty” requiring that Senior Exemptions be renewed every year. Evidently, our lawmakers believe that once homeowners turn 65 they may actually get younger. The requirement for seniors to renew each year is an unnecessary burden on seniors as well as the County Assessor’s office which must repeatedly process paperwork year after year for taxpayers who have already proven they are eligible for the exemption. The result is more administrative expense, more missed exemptions, more refund applications and more confusion for seniors.
The second change is a reduction in the time for overdue property taxes to be sold to property tax buyers. Until the recent change, property owners in distress had a full year before their taxes were sold. Now that time period has been reduced to 90 days. In a time when the official unemployment rate is hovering at ten percent and the real unemployment rate is closer to fifteen percent, our lawmakers have made it easier for a homeowner to lose his residence for failure to fully pay his property taxes. While this legislation may provide taxing districts with more revenue more quickly and provide professional tax buyers an opportunity to make more money it also places an unfair burden on citizens who are already under tremendous financial stress due to declining market values and an inhospitable economy.
The first order of business for our legislature when it reconvenes should be to do right by their constituents and repeal these two errors in judgment.
Candidate, Cook County Board of (Tax) Review &
Wheeling Township Assessor