Mar 18, 2024 - News

Cook County Board of Review commissioner faces first challenger in decades

Illustration of a pen filling in a ballot checkbox in the shape of a house.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

A down-ballot race that rarely captures attention is heating up with an unusual endorsement and alleged conflicts of interests.

Why it matters: Property taxes. The 3rd District seat on the Cook County Board of Review, the body responsible for reviewing property tax appeals, can help lower high property taxes for residents on the South and West Sides, and some suburban areas.

State of play: South suburban official Larecia Tucker is challenging incumbent Larry Rogers Jr. to represent the board's 3rd District, where taxpayers appeal their tax bills less frequently than the other two districts, the Tribune reported.

Catch up quick: Property taxes are based on valuations determined by Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi.

  • Commercial and residential property owners can make the case to the Board of Review that the assessor's value is too high, thus making the taxes too high, too.

Context: Historically, the assessor stays out of Board of Review elections. But Kaegi is backing Tucker after clashing with Rogers in the past over the commissioner's acceptance of campaign donations from tax appeal attorneys.

  • The incumbent has fired back that the assessor's endorsement of Tucker is inappropriate as the Board of Review's job is to determine whether Kaegi's valuations are fair or not.

Zoom in: Rogers, an attorney, is the longest serving member of the three-person board, first taking office in 2004.

  • Tucker works for the assessor of Rich Township.

What's next: The Democratic primary is Tuesday.

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