Push to make commercial property owners provide income data faces uncertain future

New Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi’s plan is in limbo in the Illinois House led by property tax appeal lawyer Madigan

TRD CHICAGO /
May.May 10, 2019 09:00 AM
From left: Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi, the Illinois State Capital, and Michael Madigan (Credit: iStock and Reboot Illinois via YouTube)

From left: Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi, the Illinois State Capital, and Michael Madigan (Credit: iStock and Reboot Illinois via YouTube)

New Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi’s plan to make commercial real estate owners disclose income information faces a cloudy future in the Illinois House, which is led by property tax appeal attorney Michael Madigan.

A House committee was supposed to take up the proposal Thursday, but the vote was delayed for further negotiations on the issue, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The measure would require owners of commercial properties to give Kaegi’s office tax returns and details on rent rolls and expenses in order for the assessor to determine properties’ value. Owners of properties worth less than $400,000, rental properties with up to six units and rental properties worth less than $1 million would be excluded.

A spokesperson said Madigan, the powerful speaker of the house, has recused himself from consideration of the legislation, but the committee chairman who shelved the bill — for now — is State Rep. Michael Zalewski, a product of Madigan’s political organization in Chicago’s 23rd Ward.

And while Kaegi’s reform plan already won approval in the state Senate, Madigan still wields control over what gets passed in the House.

The proposal is one of several reforms being pursued by Kaegi, who said changes are needed to make the property tax assessment system more fair. Real estate industry groups, though, oppose the measure, in part over concerns with who would have access to the information property owners turn over to the assessor.

Proponents of the bill responded by inserting a clause making the property owners’ information exempt from state Freedom of Information Act rules. [Chicago Tribune] — John O’Brien

 

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