The Tax Divide — Chicago Tribune
Chicago has long been a city divided by race and class, a metropolis with starkly different crime rates, economic realities and educational opportunities depending on where you live. But there’s another division in Chicago and Cook County, one that for years has gone unexamined even as it pits rich against poor.
An unprecedented analysis by the Tribune reveals that for years the county’s property tax system created an unequal burden on residents, handing huge financial breaks to homeowners who are well-off while punishing those who have the least, particularly people living in minority communities.
The problem lies with the fundamentally flawed way the county assessor’s office values property.
The valuations are a crucial factor when it comes to calculating property tax bills, a burden that for many determines whether they can afford to stay in their homes. Done well, these estimates should be fair, transparent an
d stand up to scrutiny.