Archive for the ‘Cook’ Category

VBH Water

According to the article, “In Barrington Hills, the median residential property tax bill for Cook County homeowners is nearly $537 lower than last year, but almost 77% of the homeowners there are paying more in property taxes than they did last year.”

Nearly 80% of all commercial property owners in Cook County received higher property tax bills this year, while 50% of homeowners saw their taxes increase.

A representative of building owners said the gap isn’t fair. But a spokesman said the Cook County assessor’s office is correcting for widespread underassessment of commercial property in the past.

“It just doesn’t make any sense,” said Farzin Parang, executive director of the Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago. “This shows to us how the assessor is putting his thumb on the scale and not on market data.”

According to a new report being released today by the property tax research unit of Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas’ office, property owners in Cook are paying $534 million more in property taxes this year combined over last year, a 3.4% increase.

The report also shows that 50.5% of residential properties in the county received higher tax bills, while 78.5% of the county’s commercial property owners were charged more this year.

Of the additional property tax revenue generated, $410 million is coming from commercial owners, while $114 million is due to increases on residential property owners. The remaining $10 million is coming from other types of properties.

Read more here.

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Speed Cameras

A speed camera on East Morgan Drive in Chicago’s Washington Park issued the most citations in the city in the first two months after Mayor Lori Lightfoot lowered the minimum speed for getting a ticket to 6 mph over the limit. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Here’s an excerpt from the Chicago Tribune story:

“As it’s currently run, the speed camera program nabs thousands of drivers in a variety of neighborhoods:

  • In the Far South Side West Pullman neighborhood, a camera on 127th Street issued 7,881 of the $35 tickets during the first two months in which the city gave less leeway to speeders.
  • A camera a block north of Lawrence on Cicero Avenue dinged 10,819 drivers under the new rules.
  • Closer to the lake, 7,992 of the $35 tickets were sent out from a camera in the 1100 block of West Irving Park Road.
  • On the West Side, 4,273 motorists got caught by a camera in the 5800 block of West Jackson Boulevard.

In all, there are 162 cameras in 69 “safety zones” within one-eighth a mile of a Chicago school or park, but not all of them are always operating. The March and April data the city provided tallied tickets issued from 158 cameras.

With some cameras deactivated while schools are closed for the summer, there are currently 119 of the devices recording vehicle speeds and issuing tickets, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.”

Read the full story here,

Related: Chicago begins issuing tickets to motorists going 6 mph over the speed limit today. What you need to know…

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Plum Farms

The Executive Director of the Hoffman Estates Park District will be providing a report on Plum Farms this evening to the BHPD Commissioners.

The Barrington Hills Park District Board will hold their regular monthly meeting this evening in-person and via Zoom at 7:00 PM.  Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • Hoffman Estates Park District Executive Director report on Plum Farms
  • Motion to adopt and approve a Sexual Harassment Policy
  • New outdoor arena, motion to proceed with bidding process
  • Purchase of trees & shrubs for the Riding Center grounds
  • Footing complaints affecting all arenas, and
  • The need for final footing authority?

A copy of their agenda can be viewed here. Instructions for accessing the meeting remotely can be found here.

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Gas Station

While this isn’t exactly a new listing, we have noticed that marketing for this property seems to have picked up lately…

“Great opportunity to own this 6.25 acre High visibility lot on Rt 59 & Penny Rd. 823′ of frontage along Rt. 59!!! Possibilities are endless, Gas Station, Strip center, Restaurant, or whatever you are thinking.”

One of the listings can be found here.  Another can be viewed here.  Asking price: $750,000.

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The Riding Club of Barrington Hills has released their August, 2021 newsletter.  A section includes definitions of three major types of riding trails in the Village and Cook County as:

  • Trails on private property
  • Village deeded equestrian trails, and
  • Forest Preserve trails

A copy of their newsletter can be viewed and downloaded here.

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Lowering the property assessment of a commercial property cost $2,000, according to the feds. A home? That was a $1,000 bribe to a Board of Review employee who insisted he was sharing the bribes with co-workers.

Cook FBI

A Cook County Board of Review employee allegedly counts thousands of dollars in bribe money for lowering property assessments, according to a photograph attached to a federal affidavit obtained by the Sun-Times. The Sun-Times is not naming the employee and has pixelated his face; he is not charged. (Federal affidavit from U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago)

The FBI has been investigating a Cook County Board of Review employee who allegedly used his position to lower property assessments in exchange for thousands of dollars in cash bribes, according to a federal court affidavit obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

That employee also said the money would be split with others in the office, insisting that, “I’m just the middle guy” and that certain colleagues had factored the cash into vacation plans as the recent Fourth of July holiday approached, according to the 45-page document.

The federal probe dates to at least January 2019 and involves an unnamed individual who was secretly cooperating with the feds and is separately under criminal investigation, according to the affidavit. The Sun-Times is not naming the Board of Review employee at the center of the probe because records show he has not been criminally charged. He could not be reached Monday for comment.

The revelation of alleged corruption could deal another blow to public confidence in Cook County’s property tax system, just as tax bills are supposed to be hitting mailboxes. The bills already might be delayed because of “major errors” the Sun-Times exposed in a $250 million-a-year program that offers a tax break to certain seniors.

The Board of Review employee at the center of the feds’ investigation allegedly offered to have property assessments lowered for bribes — $2,000 for every commercial property; $1,000 for every residential property. Assessments are a key factor in calculating property tax bills.

Read the full Chicago Sun*Times article here.

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Property Tax Inflation

Residents of Cook County don’t need to be told that they shoulder a heavy property tax burden. Illinois has the second-highest real estate property taxes in the country, and property taxes in Cook County rose at three times the rate of inflation from 2000 to 2019.

But here’s a revelation: The taxes people pay every year understate the extent of the ultimate obligation. Last year, Moody’s Analytics concluded that Illinois has a bigger public pension debt than any other state, amounting to a crushing $25,000 for every man, woman and child living here. Cook County, too, has huge unfunded pension liabilities — and between 2009 and 2018, they more than doubled.

Want to guess who is on the hook for covering most of those obligations? That’s right: Property owners.

A new report by Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas looks at the tax burden in a new way. Her office calculated the total government debt and allocated a share of it to each property on the tax rolls. This is illuminating because not all properties bear the same burden, even if their value is comparable.

As the report says, “Local governments set the levies, or the overall amount of taxes to be collected, in each of their districts. How much of that overall levy is paid by any one individual property owner is determined by the value of their property, relative to the value of all the property within the taxing district.”

The lowest level of debt to property value is in Inverness, an affluent village in the northwestern part of the county. Pappas puts its debt load at less than 7% of its total property value. The heaviest weight, meanwhile, falls mostly on “less thriving areas with predominantly minority populations and less broad tax bases,” the report says. Homeowners in Riverdale, which is 94% African American and has a median annual household income of less than $34,000, pay taxes that are 2½ times higher than those in Inverness, where the typical family’s income exceeds $180,000.

Read the full Chicago Tribune editorial here.

Editorial note: The Inverness Police Department started patrolling the streets of the Village on May 1, 2009 with a non-union force made up of veterans from other regional departments.

Related:Pappas unveils new online tool to weigh government debt burden on individual property owners

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CCCook County – Property owners for the first time can find out what portion of local government debt falls on them, thanks to a new, groundbreaking online tool created by Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas.

“Most reports identify government debt as an amount per person,” Pappas said. “My latest study takes a more targeted approach by showing debt in relation to each property in Cook County.”

The new, unique tool reveals that Willis Tower carries local government debt of nearly $289 million, equal to 41.5% of the iconic skyscraper’s $697 million value. A Riverdale house carries $31,800 in local debt, equal to 48% of its $67,000 value. And the debt on a house on Hodgkins has $127,400 in debt, equal to 25.7% of its $496,000 value.

By contrast, the debt on properties in more affluent, lower-tax areas, like Barrington Hills and Winnetka, falls below 10% of the value of the properties in those locations.

These new calculations are available at cookcountytreasurer.com, where property owners can click the purple box on the homepage and search their address to see their local debt burden compared to the value of their home in both dollar and percentage amounts.

The new methodology also allowed Pappas to better compare the overall debt burdens borne by residents of any Cook County city or village. That exercise revealed the burden of local government debt varies greatly throughout the county, with generally heavier burdens in less-affluent suburbs where the populations are more than 50% Black or Latino. The taxes tend to be much higher in many of those minority areas, an indication that more debt leads to higher property taxes.

“Property purchases in Cook County come with a hidden credit card balance, in the form of local government debt,” Pappas said. “Property owners end up paying down that debt, on top of also covering their mortgage, utility and maintenance costs.”

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A rendering of the new Global Terminal at O’Hare International Airport, expected to be completed by 2028. It will replace Terminal 2.

The Federal Aviation Administration is scrutinizing Chicago’s monumental plan to build a new global terminal at O’Hare International Airport, punch a hole in its west side and add two new concourses.

The review will assess whether the proposal is likely to significantly affect the environment — and you have an opportunity to chime in. Comments from the public are being accepted now through July 9.

The result could trigger a more detailed environmental impact statement or the FAA could conclude there’s no significant issues.

Known as the Airport Terminal Project, its blockbuster feature is a $2.2 billion Global Terminal that will accommodate domestic and international airlines with customs and immigration services. The billowy, Y-shaped design, created by a team led by Chicago architect Jeanne Gang, incorporates glass, wood and steel and will be twice the size of Terminal 2, which it’s replacing.

A tunnel will connect the Global Terminal to two concourses on the west side of the airport, intended to be double the size of existing ones and able to fit wide- bodied planes. Overall, the construction should add 22 gates to O’Hare with the airport’s capacity expected to increase by 25% to 100 million passengers by 2026.

Also included are two new hotels, one at Terminal 5 and a second to be built as a multiuse complex off Mannheim Road.

Read more here.

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Barrington Village HallArlington Heights, Barrington and Elk Grove Village are the latest Northwest suburbs to issue proclamations ahead of Pride month in June.

Approval of the Respect in Barrington Pride proclamation Monday came after an April meeting in which advocates called for such a declaration following acts of vandalism targeting the LGBTQ community in recent years.

“I believe Barrington has sent a clear message to the local community, especially in light of recent homophobic incidents, that everyone is accepted here,” said Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison of Mount Prospect, the first openly gay member of the county board. “I think about all the young LGBTQ people in Barrington, and I think about what this proclamation means to them.

“I think about them because I was one of them,” he added. “Growing up in Elk Grove Village, I never thought I would get the opportunity to serve my community as an elected official simply because I was in the LGBTQ community.”

Read more here.

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