Ugaste calls for fix to property tax assessment system
Dan Ugaste says he has a plan to keep preyed upon homeowners in their homes while rebuilding a property tax assessment system he sees as fractured by corruption.
A recent Economist investigation found that legal fees paid to property tax appeal lawyers in 2015 were in the neighborhood of $35 million.
"Illinois needs to change the way government is run, starting in Springfield with new leadership that will finally put the people of the state first,” Ugaste, who is running to replace retiring Rep. Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) in the 65th District, said in a release. “This is why I am demanding we establish a new property tax assessment system that limits annual property tax bills to a very small percentage of the actual market value of our homes.”
Ugaste points to how the Economist investigation also uncovered that much of the money is paid to law firms like the one in which House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) is a principal. Ugaste further characterized the country’s longest-serving state legislative leader as “the same lawyer who has large control over the complex state laws and formulas governing property tax assessments.”
He said other investigations have also found that property tax lawyers across Cook County that work in the system contribute millions to campaigns controlled by County Assessor and Cook County Democratic Party Chairman Joe Berrios, under whom he claims property tax appeals have tripled.
“Is it any wonder that a recent investigation showed that property tax appeals in Chicago result in reductions approximately 50 percent of the time compared with 16 percent in New York,” he said in the release.
Ugaste said without the kind of changes he is proposing, working families will continue to struggle with being able to hold onto their homes while a few chosen handful will continue to prosper.
“This is one of the reasons I am running, to change the culture of Springfield,” he said. “It is time that state government puts the people of Illinois first.”
The 65th House District includes parts of Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles, Elgin and Huntley.