COOK COUNTY (December 19, 2017) – Following is a statement from Fritz Kaegi, the progressive Democrat running against incumbent Assessor Joe Berrios in the March 2018 primary election, in response to the impending passage of the GOP tax bill, the largest tax rewrite in over thirty years.

“The GOP’s tax bill–or rather, the tax scam–effectively eliminates the deduction for property and state income taxes, both crucial deductions for working class families, taking resources out of their pockets and disincentivizing community investment.  Families earning $10,000 to $75,000 will effectively be paying more over the next decade under this current system. Under the proposed elements of this bill, on an after-tax basis, homeowners will see a dramatic increase in the amount of property taxes paid, in some cases up to 50% more.  In addition to a potential decrease in housing prices, the tax plan will have a devastating effect on communities as a reduction in available investment funds will lead to a decrease in the quality of infrastructure and educational systems.  

“The GOP tax scam would be particularly hard on the Southland communities. Residents there already pay a high property tax rate in relation the value of their homes.  This legislation will only accentuate that property tax regressivity.  The GOP is eliminating these needed deductions to fund the phase out of the estate tax, which only helps the super wealthy, and to lower corporate property taxes, creating an additional tax burden that will be passed on to the working class.

“I encourage Cook County homeowners to contact your Congressperson and let them know how angry you are about the legislation.  Second, focus your volunteer time and resources on candidates who are challenging those who are pushing for these crippling measures.  Finally, show up to vote.  This proposed bill is aimed at the heart of everything we hold dear here in Cook County and could have disastrous long-term effects on our communities if passed.”