Thursday, October 30, 2008

Letter: Citizens Group dumbfounded

Lake County Journal, October 30 2008

To the Editor: Why is the most taxpayer-friendly piece of legislation to hit Springfield in a generation stuck in a legislative quagmire?

In February, Citizens Action Project, state Sen. Michael Bond, and state Rep.Edward Sullivan introduced SB2820, the Homestead Assessment Transparency Act. The legislation was created to assure accountability and transparency in the property assessment process. By the end of May, the bill was passed in the House and Senate in extraordinarily bipartisan fashion. However, it is October and the bill has yet to be signed into law. CAP has not been sitting idle waiting for the legislation to pass.

The Grayslake-based, nonprofit, nonpartisan group is putting the finishing touches on its new white paper, "Getting a Fair Hearing: Appealing Your Property Assessments in Lake County," which will be published in early 2009. The paper exposes the lack of transparency, fairness, and accountability of the citizen appeals process and recommendations of how it can be improved upon.

CAP is urging Lake County citizens who are unhappy with their assessment appeal experience to e-mail info@citizensactionproject.org if they wish to be included in the white paper. CAP is encouraging Lake County citizens to contact their township assessor, Lake County Board representative, state House representative, and state Senator to urge SB2820 to be signed into law. CAP is also urging Illinois citizens to vote yes to a new Constitutional Convention, which allows citizens to examine government, including the property tax system, without bias. To read the complete white paper, go to www.citizensactionproject.org.

Steve Minsky Vice President of Citizens Action Project