Why I am Running for Re-election
With property values steadily declining and property taxes going up because of continued demand for more money each year from local governmental units such as schools, villages and park districts, property owners have a right to know they are fairly assessed and paying no more than their fair share of taxes. The Board of Review is the last avenue of appeal for many tax payers and the promises I made were all designed to ensure a timely and fair review at the Board.
In the essay below used for the November 2010 election we laid out the major reasons I was running for the Board of Review and why citizens should cast their vote for me. Those reasons centered around my professional qualifications and safeguarding the appeal process against partisan abuse as well as bringing balance to a Board dominated by Democrats.
Now an additional reason can be added for taxpayers to support my candidacy. That reason is a record of success in following through with my campaign promises. As the only Republican on the three- member Board and the only full-time commissioner, my presence and continued vigilance as a check and balance has helped to make the Board of Review scandal free since my term began. But that's not the only thing we have followed through with; we have pursued an aggressive schedule of assessment appeal seminars to educate the public about their right to appeal and additionally to teach them as much as possible about our current property tax system so they will be empowered to make informed decisions about their own personal situations as well as in exercising their right to vote. We have simplified the appeal process for taxpayers by improving our standard letters about hearings. We ended the unproductive infighting with the Assessors office and entered into a cooperative mode that has resulted in more accurate assessments. Our staff has begun a formal education program through classes offered by the Illinois Department of Revenue and other professional associations. We have kept close contact with the suburban assessor offices, having twenty-seven of their staffs come to the Board for a formal two hour tour and explanation of Board procedures. We produced the first Board of Review Annual Report created and endorsed by all three commissioners which provides information about the Board's responsibilities and detailed statistics on Board activities. We reduced our budget in 2011 while adjudicating over 386,000 appeals, the second highest number of appeals in the history of the Board and we have kept our suburban satellite offices open to better serve our 1st district constituents. In addition, we unveiled our new on-line appeal system in September 2011 allowing property owners to appeal from the comfort of their own homes. Lastly, I continue to serve as the first ever full-time hands on commissioner at the Board of Review.
I ask for your support in the General Election on November 6th, 2012.
Why I Ran in 2010
As I wrote in the November 2010 general election; Please allow me to tell you why it is so important to the taxpayers of Cook County to put the First District Board of Review seat back in the Republican column.
In addition to unprecedented domination of state and City of Chicago government, Democrats currently have absolute autonomy in controlling the Cook County property tax system. The Democrat Clerk calculates the tax rates. The Democrat Treasurer collects property tax payments and then distributes the revenue to various local taxing districts (schools, villages, park districts etc.). The Democrat Assessor determines the assessment (value) of all 1.8 million parcels of property. And the three Democrat Board of Review commissioners decide which assessment appeals warrant a reduction. This one party control is a recipe for abuse. If elected, I will be the taxpayer's "Canary in the Coal Mine" so the Chicago Democrat Machine will not be able to use the property tax system as a tool to reward their allies and punish their opponents.
As a professional trained in property valuation and as a local Township Assessor familiar with the County tax system, I will be in a position to sound a warning when insiders abuse the system for personal or political gain. Under my leadership, taxpayers who make a convincing case for assessment reduction will receive the tax relief to which they are entitled. By the same token, politically connected property owners will receive no special consideration.