Yingling Gets Local Support on Legislation to Bring Accountability to LakeCountyPropertyTaxSystem

05/23/2018

GRAYSLAKE—Today, Representative Sam Yingling (D-Grayslake) introduced legislation, HB1011 HA1, legislation to give the people of Lake County the power to hold the Lake County Chief County Assessment Officer (Lake County Assessor) accountable to the voters on election day.

The legislation places a binding question on the 2018 General Election ballot as to whether the currently unelected office of Lake County Assessor should be elected by the people. The position is currently appointed by the Lake County Board Chairman, who, unlike other collar county board chairmen, is not popularly elected as Chairman.

The measure is backed by co-sponsor Representative McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) and is supported by several Lake County Township Assessors, including John Barrington, Ela Township Assessor, Jeri Barr, Grant Township Assessor, and Chris Ditton, Avon Township Assessor.

“My constituents are plagued by a dysfunctional, regressive, and abusive property tax system that is forcing people out of their homes and out of our state,” said Yingling. “Local township assessors play an important role when they conduct fair and transparent property tax assessments based on knowledge of local issues, and those assessments are routinely dismissed or overruled by the Lake County Assessor—an appointed position over which my constituents and the residents of Lake County hold no measure of accountability.”

“Township assessors are elected and are ultimately held accountable by the people on election day,” said Barrington. “The Lake County Assessor is not popularly elected, and the people have no recourse when they see their assessments haphazardly overruled or increased.”

“The goal with this measure is to ensure accountability and transparency in the property tax system in Lake County,” said Barr. “The people should have the ability to hold the Lake County Assessor accountable for decisions that affect how much they pay in property taxes.”

“I have seen firsthand how the current situation has led to property owners paying more than their fair share of property taxes and fully support Representative Yingling’s efforts to leave the decision of whether to make the Lake County Assessor an elected position up to the voters by putting the question on the ballot in November,” concluded Ditton.

The measure will be heard in the Government Consolidation & Modernization Committee tomorrow, Thursday, May 24.

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