On August 23rd, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed Senate Bill 3386 allowing the Cook County Board of Review to modernize operations and making it easier and more convenient for property owners to file appeals of the assessed values of their homes and businesses. The signing ceremony took place at the Cook County Board of Review, where Governor Quinn was a Commissioner from 1982 to 1986.
Senate Bill 3386 changes language in the Illinois Property Tax Code—which created and regulates the Cook County Board of Review—to permit taxpayers to file appeals online and the Board of Review to accept electronic data for appeals and to send data to other county agencies electronically. The Board of Review is modernizing the appeals process by creating a paperless digital office. The Board of Review received capital funding to create a paperless work flow as the first project approved by the Cook County IT Collaborative Board.
“I am grateful to Governor Quinn and the sponsors of the bill, Senator Don Harmon and Representative Kelly Cassidy, for recognizing the importance of this legislation and enabling us to better serve the homeowners and business owners of Cook County,” said Commissioner Michael Cabonargi, Chairman of the Board of Review. “We are overhauling the appeals process, from simplifying the process for property owners to utilizing technology to make analyzing appeals easier and more transparent.”
Commissioner Larry R. Rogers, Jr., the senior, and longest serving Commissioner of the Board of Review stated, “Governor Quinn is familiar with the Board of Review, based on his prior service as a Commissioner. The Governor could see, first hand, the significant strides the agency has made in the last several years toward providing a more open, transparent, and accessible appeals process to taxpayers.” Commissioner Rogers added, “By signing Senate Bill 3386 into law today, the Governor has authorized the Cook County Board of Review to further modernize operations, making it easier and more convenient for property owners to file assessed valuation appeals on their homes and businesses.”
The Board of Review’s work toward modernizing the appeals process began several years ago, culminating in the formal introduction of its online filing system to the public during the 2011 appeals session. The Board saw immediate benefits to taxpayers and a success that exceeded expectations. Twenty-eight percent (28%) of all appeals were filed online in the first year. In the current year, the Board of Review set a goal of nearly thirty-five percent (35%) of all appeals to be processed online. In addition to the online filing system, the Board of Review will soon release a Request for Proposal for a digital work flow system to eliminate paper files at the Board.
“We thank the Governor and each and every one of the sponsors who helped us take one more step toward making the Board a more accessible and taxpayer-friendly agency,” stated Commissioner Rogers. “These changes mean better service and cost savings for Cook County property owners. This is responsible government, and I am proud to have been a part of the change,” added Chairman Cabonargi.
The Cook County Board of Review is a quasi-judicial agency responsible for adjudicating assessment appeals for all property in Cook County. Last year the Board reviewed complaints regarding over 341,000 parcels of property in Cook County. Please contact the Board of Review at (312) 603-5542 with any questions. For more information, please go to www.CookCountyBoardofReview.com.