Kaegi’s property tax bill hits wall in Springfield

The bill sailed through the state Senate last month, but it won’t make it to the House floor before the session is scheduled to end Friday

May.May 31, 2019 12:30 PM
Fritz Kaegi and the Illinois Capitol

Fritz Kaegi and the Illinois Capitol (Credit: iStock)

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi will have to wait at least a few more months before his proposal to collect more property tax data becomes law.

The state House put the kibosh on Kaegi’s proposal to require large commercial property owners to report their income data, the assessor told the Chicago Tribune. The proposal sailed through the state Senate last month, but the House won’t get a chance to vote on the bill before the scheduled end of the spring session Friday.

Part of Kaegi’s push to reform the office after he took over for the embattled Joe Berrios last December, the bill would have required financial data from the owners of buildings with more than six residential units or a valuation of more than $400,000. Kaegi argued it would help his office produce more accurate assessments to even out a system widely panned as regressive.

But it met intense pushback from more than a dozen influential business and trade groups, including the Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago, which argued it could place too heavy a burden on large property owners.

Many of the state’s largest landlords are represented by the real estate tax firm Madigan & Getzendanner, which is helmed by the super-powerful state House Speaker Michael Madigan.

An independent audit published last week found Kaegi’s office would have to drastically expand its staff and overhaul its data collection in order to meet modern assessment standards.  [Chicago Tribune] — Alex Nitkin

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