Several provisions of the Illinois constitution and a series of statutes assert the power of the state to collect a tax on real estate, but delegate the power to officials of the state's counties.

The constitutional provisions and the statutes fail the test of uniformity and equal protection.  They create inequalities for property owners in Chicago and Cook County compared to property owners in other municipalities and counties.

The Illinois General Assembly, Governor, Attorney General et al. acknowledge the right of people outside Chicago to (1) vote for school board members who propose the annual budgets of their schools; and (2) vote in referendums to approve or disapprove bond issues to finance their schools.  The Illinois General Assembly et al. allow Chicago's mayor to appoint school board members without the consent of taxpayers.  The Illinois General Assembly allows school board members to incur debts and issue bonds without the approval of taxpayers at referendums.  The various Illinois constitutional provisions and statutes allow Chicago mayors to take office with the consent of less than 25% of voters, and likewise the aldermen who approve the mayor's annual budget and many of his other decisions.

The Illinois constitution sets a higher tax cap for the tax on real estate in Cook County than for all other Illinois counties.

The tax cap is a percentage of the Cook County Assessor's valuation of all properties combined.  Therefore, it isn't a tax cap.  County officials can inflate tax revenues by inflating tax bills by inflating assessments. 

The scheme has existed since almost Day One, but it spiraled or cycloned far beyond the control of the people after Puerto Rican migrants came to Chicago, got city and county jobs, and were elected to political offices while Hispanics from other former Spanish-American colonies executed a mass invasion of the United States and came north to Cook County and Chicago.



top illustration:

Humboldt Park No Se Vende

Division at Campbell (2500W)

2008 June 5

illustration at right:

Iglesia Adalberto

Division Street 2716W

Humboldt Park neighborhood

2008 June 5

The Cook County Assessor maintains a website where he describes the process by which he values properties.  He has made his valuations of all Cook County properties available online, and includes a picture of each property with its valuation.  When you cut through the mumbo-jumbo of the valuation process, and if you're smart enough to know a ridiculous and inappropriate formula when you see one, you get to the truth of Cook County assessments.  Mortgage lenders, real estate agents and aldermen tell the Assessor how they want him to value a property. 

Mortgage lenders depend on the Assessor's valuations to justify big loans to bad risk on aging properties that out-of-state and foreigners who invest in mortgage loans can't see and judge for themselves.  All the investors see is that bigger loans yield bigger profits in theory.  The young people who work in local mortgage loan offices get paid a percentage of the loan principle or a flat rate.  They keep their pay whether the loan is eventually foreclosed or not.  They've got no incentive to be accurate and honest.

Real estate agents get a flat rate of the selling price for their pay.  The standard is 6%, but they can sacrifice a few points to make a sale.  The selling price often depends more on how much the local mortgage loan office people are willing to loan than on anything as set in stone as real market values are alleged to be.

Mortgage lenders and real estate agents look to the Assessor's valuation of 'nearby properties' to justify their valuation of a particular property when it goes on the market.  But their shenanigans valued 'nearby properties' in the first place.  If the Assessor is willing to under-describe a property and a loan officer is willing to over-value it with his loan, a single public/private double fraud of this kind can lead to fraudulent valuations, selling prices, loans, and inflation of taxes 'nearby' and over a wide swath of earth.

the ward, and allowing them to wage vendettas for themselves, their relatives and their families, to their hearts' content.

Valuations of properties on 4800 Deming-Wrightwood are wildly too high or too low compared even to market values that mortgage lenders create single-handedly.  The Assessor's descriptions of several properties don't match the Assessor's photographs of them.

As a rule of thumb, people who get patronage jobs are people who didn't do well in school.  The mess the aldermen's office staffs have made of the Assessor's database reflect this rule.

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practical applications

public finance