Truth in Taxation meeting brings large crowd to courthouse
Nov 28, 2017 08:47AM
By Joe Friedrichs of WTIP Radio News - Monday, November 27, 2017
It was a packed house at the Cook County Courthouse Monday night, Nov. 27, as 20 people addressed the Board of Commissioners to share a mix of emotions and thoughts on property tax increases and the 2018 county budget.
The commissioners’ room was full before the 6 p.m. start time Monday, and local residents continued to arrive as the Truth in Taxation meeting started.
Cook County residents began receiving their proposed 2017 tax statements toward the middle of November. The proposed increase for Cook County is currently at 19.9%. A final levy and budget must be adopted on or before December 29.
Many of the sentiments addressed to the commissioners and several members of county staff from the public focused on the fact high property taxes were problematic for local residents.
There were moments of strong emotion during Monday’s Truth in Taxation meeting, including stories of families and individuals struggling to make ends meet and those simply stating they might have to move away from Cook County due to the high cost of living. The meeting also grew unruly on occasion, with Board Chair Jan Sivertson threatening to end the meeting several times unless the crowd withheld their emotions or support for fellow citizens who spoke against the levy increase.
On the other side of the equation, some local taxpayers – though far fewer than those who spoke against the tax increases – were more sympathetic to the situation the county board faces with regard to budget priorities and where tax dollars are spent.
And while the commissioners heard a variety of voices about the levy and 2018 budget, during a Truth in Taxation meeting the board does not take action to set or lower the levy.
The next meeting of the county board is Tuesday, Nov. 28.
You can listen to the report on the WTIP Radio website by following this link.