Berrios to be closely watched as new Cook County Assessor

9 Nov

Who: Joe Berrios

Office: Cook County Assessor

Job description: The assessor determines important property values for commercial and residential parcels. Values set by the assessor determine property taxes in an area. One-third of properties in the county are reassessed each year.

Personal: Berrios was born in Chicago. His family moved into the Cabrini-Green high rises when he was six years-old. He was a dishwasher for seven years at the Tower Club in Chicago. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in accounting. In 1982 he became the first Latino elected to the Illinois General Assembly. Since 1988 he has served on the Cook County Board of Review. In 2007 he was selected as leader of the Cook County Democratic Party.

Outlook: Berrios was endorsed by Gov. Pat Quinn, House Speaker Mike Madigan and Ald.-Cook County Board president-elect Toni Preckwinkle. He has been accused of being an opponent of making Illinois’ government more transparent. Chicago Magazine, The Better Government Association and the Cook County State’s Attorney office have, or are, examining Berrios’s ethics, and if he provides preferential treatment to the politically-connected.. Berrios vows to improve technology and fairly assess properties with assessments written with clarity for owners.

Christine Hurley

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