Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Township Assessor Forum

Grayslake, IL February 24, 2009 -- Lake County Township Assessor candidates will participate in a moderated forum hosted by Citizens Action Project on March 16th at 7PM at Byron Colby Barn in Grayslake.

CAP, the Lake County-based property assessment watchdog, will also announce its new white paper, "Are you Getting a Fair Hearing? Appealing Your Property Taxes in Lake County," revealing problems with the Board of Review appeals process and what can be done to fix it.
The future of property assessments will be front and center on April 6th when every Lake County Township Assessor office will be up for a vote. Rarely has there been a forum for assessor candidates to express their vision, and even less of an opportunity for Lake County citizens to ask questions.

According to CAP President John Wasik, "Since we formed CAP, we have said that township assessors have the most power and influence in making the assessment process fair and transparent. We find it of the utmost importance to give the pubic a forum in which to decide where to cast their vote." Candidates from Avon, Ela, Fremont, Moraine, and West Deerfield townships have been invited.

CAP published its new white paper illuminating the inner workings of the Board of Review because they found the same lack of transparency, fairness, and accountability that prompted "Assessing the Assessments," their first white paper casting a light on the Chief County Assessor and Township Assessors.

CAP was formed in 2007 as a volunteer organization dedicated to fairness, accountability, and transparency in public agencies. Since then, CAP has exerted significant influence in creating change including:

-Vastly improved Lake County website for property assessments with interactive features to assist the homeowner with preparing an appeal.

-Helping hundreds appeal their property assessments successfully.

-The introduction of SB 2820, The Homestead Transparency Act, aimed at making blue cards easier to interpret for taxpayers. The bill has passed both the house and senate and is being considered by Governor Quinn.

However, CAP's mission will go unfulfilled until the fundamental flaws in the assessment process are resolved. According to Wasik, "there is no better time than April 6th to have your say in how Lake County citizens will be assessed for the next four years." The event is open to the public. Five dollar donation suggested. For more information, email info@citizensactionproject.org, go to http://www.citizensactionproject.org, or visit their blog at http://www.citizensactionprojectnews.blogspot.com.


Steve Minsky
Vice President, CAP

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