Community Organizations Will Defend Claims Against Cook County Assessor’s Office for Systemic Discrimination

CHICAGO – Three community organizations involved in a lawsuit against the Cook County Tax Assessor’s Office will appear in Circuit Court today to defend their claims in a hearing on a Motion to Dismiss the case that was filed by the Assessor’s Office. The hearing begins at 10:30am in Courtroom 2508 of the Daley Center (50 W Washington St) before Hon. Celia Gamrath.
The lawsuit brought by Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Logan Square Neighborhood Association, and South Suburban Housing Center alleges that the Assessor’s Office conducts assessments that systematically and illegally shifts residential property tax burdens from Whites to Hispanics and African-Americans and from the rich to the poor. A team of attorneys from Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, and Miner, Barnhill & Galland filed the litigation December 2017.

According to the complaint, property owners in majority-Hispanic and majority-African-American neighborhoods are twice as likely to be over-assessed, by a rate of 20 percent or more above market value, when compared with majority-White neighborhoods. The complaint asks the court to declare the Cook County Assessor’s assessment system unlawful, and to order Berrios’ office to adopt and implement a fair, accurate, transparent, lawful, and nondiscriminatory system.  It also seeks the appointment of an independent monitor to oversee the process.

Fair HousingTimna Axel