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BOMA/Chicago Continues Push for Property Tax Transparency Measure This Fall

In our continued mission to advocate for greater transparency in the Cook County Assessor’s Office, BOMA/Chicago plans to re-introduce a measure this fall that would provide greater property tax transparency.

The need for this measure became even more apparent after the Cook County Assessor aggressively pursued legislation since 2019 that would require all commercial properties to submit detailed income and expense information, despite concerns about lack of transparency, confidentiality, and privacy . The legislation would subject taxpayers to harsh penalties for late responses or noncompliance.

If enacted, the Assessor’s legislation would make Cook County one of the few jurisdictions that mandate all commercial taxpayers to submit confidential financial data. Most jurisdictions use highly successful voluntary submissions systems, and we believe they are successful because their assessment processes are more transparent and taxpayers have more trust in the voluntary process.

While the Illinois General Assembly was in session this spring, BOMA/Chicago organized a coalition of 17 organizations - including real estate, business associations, labor unions, professional trade associations, and taxpayer and public policy groups - to negotiate a more balanced bill that included greater transparency measures from the Cook County Assessor’s Office and that would lead to more voluntary reporting.

In addition to providing more accuracy, uniformity and accountability in the assessment process, the transparency proposal would have made it simpler for a taxpayer to obtain complete information about their assessment.

We were disappointed in the Assessor's opposition to substantive transparency provisions that we sought for the protection of all Illinois taxpayers.

BOMA/Chicago and the coalition will continue to advocate for greater property tax assessment transparency before the Illinois General Assembly. This fall, we plan to introduce legislation that would implement enhanced transparency measures within the Assessor’s Office. Look for additional updates once the measure is introduced.