After a scathing article accusing Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios of failing to properly assess thousands of properties, Illinois gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy is calling for his resignation.
Kennedy, who is running for the Democratic nomination in the race, issued a statement Thursday calling for Berrios to step down after the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica revealed that Berrios’ office failed to assess thousands of properties, sometimes simply carrying over one number from one year to the next.
“The property tax racket run by Joe Berrios and political insiders needs to end and it needs to end today,” Kennedy said. “Berrios has used the property tax system that is defunding our public schools, defunding our social safety net, and defunding efforts to end gun violence as means to keep the political machine in power and enrich the entitled, politically connected few at everyone else’s expense.”
The piece also went into detail on errors in assessments of businesses, which hurt small businesses and aided larger commercial and industrial property owners.
Berrios’ office fired back at Kennedy’s statement, pointing out that the candidate has benefitted from that system by appealing valuations on a property he owns.
“If Kennedy truly feels the system is ‘unfair,’ I call on him to return to taxpayers the millions of dollars in tax savings resulting from those reductions,” a Berrios spokesperson said. “Assessor Berrios has focused on improving the assessment system he inherited by making it fair and equitable for every Cook County resident.”