Fritz Kaegi, who was elected Cook County Assessor in November, is working to clean up the property tax assessment fiasco left behind by his Machine predecessor, Joe Berrios.

Kaegi wants assessments backed up by uniform, objective data, reducing the need for politically connected lawyers running property tax appeal practices. A recent Crain’s editorial said, “It’s hard to argue for the previous clouted-up status quo and against a clear-eyed system that bases valuations on actual data over the long haul.”

But a bill is now pending in Springfield to keep reformers like Kaegi out of the office of Cook County Assessor. House Bill 3605 would put control of the office back in the hands of the Chicago Machine by making it an appointed office appointed by the president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. That, of course, is the Machine’s own Toni Preckwinkle.

Robert Martwick (D-Chicago)

Who would have the gall to introduce such a bill? Why, that would be another leading Machine politician one who happens to have a big tax appeal practice Rep. Robert Martwick (D-Chicago).

Salute to the attentive reader who brought the bill to our attention.

-Mark Glennon

Read more on how the “clouted-up status quo” hurts residents across Cook County:


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Joe Strzalka
1 year ago

I am in no way in favor of this bill. But in the end it doesn’t matter much. Someone has to pay. If the new assessor can find a fairer way to arrange the deck chairs, fine, the iceberg has already struck the ship.

Mark Durante
1 year ago

I have had it with career politicians 2 terms maximum is one solution to the corruption.

1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Durante

Or just leave Illinois and deprive them of your tax dollars.

1 year ago

Remember in “The Wrath of Khan” when dying Mr.Spock says “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” Cap’t Kirk answers “Or the One”. Sadly In Chicago and Illinois politics the exact OPPOSITE is true. The needs of the Few outweigh the needs of the Many or the One!! How pathetic this state has become. Clearly there is no logic left for ordinary citizens.

1 year ago

The bill specifically states “in counties with 3,000,000 or more inhabitants”. Cook County is the only county that qualifies. If appointing an assessor is the path forward, shouldn’t it apply to ALL counties?

bob out of here
1 year ago

If this does actually pass and become law it could become the final straw that unleashes the fury of the voters. Nothing would p*** them off more than Berrios being assessor again.

Paul Lewis
1 year ago

This is why I am a resident of the State if Texas and will never return to Illinois with my company because you folks can’t get your shit together

John Miller
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Lewis

Agreed. As much as I love the city and the people of Chicago, I too am ready to go!

1 year ago

Dont forget prekwinkle a year ago appointed martwick to supreme court nomination board. He’s ctu best friend and will be pushing bills to override tier ll. Hes the go between for everthing madigan.

Illinois Entrepreneur
1 year ago

This reminds me of that TV show, Person of Interest. In it, an extremely intelligent AI machine works with its human counterparts to predict (and stop) disasters and crime before they happen. Of course, no good show is complete without a nemesis, and thus a “bad” AI machine is also unleashed, and the show’s protagonists find themselves on the run. Both Machines use cameras, the financial system and any other source of data to find and activate whatever change it wants in order to try and kill off it’s opponents. It’s a frightening war against something that’s infinitely faster, smarter… Read more »

Tom Paines Ghost
1 year ago

Robert Martwick is the poster boy of Chicago Machine Politician: He inherited his office from his daddy, he makes money by mixing political office with his business like Madigan, Burke, et al, and he votes the way Mike Madigan tells him to vote. Martwick barely held onto his office in the 2018 election and was only saved by the anti-Trump, anti-Rauner votes. I suspect that he won’t survive the 2020 election; especially with proposing criminal legislation like this.

Jeffrey Carter
1 year ago

Funny, Kaegi is a democratic socialist. It’s just ironic that someone as far left as Kaegi who I would not agree with on public policy would want to reform the crony capitalism that goes on in the “Democratic Machine” which is not that far removed from “Establishment Republicans”.