Cook County Assessor Berrios to host outreach sessions for taxpayers affected by flooding

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By Community Editor

Courtesy Kevin Fanning

Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios announced today that his office, in cooperation with local, township, and county elected officials, will host numerous outreach sessions to help taxpayers that suffered great losses as a result of the serious flooding.

"Many Cook County residents have endured great hardship with the recent flooding," Assessor Berrios said. "I want to personally assist these taxpayers by helping them file appeals in order to receive assessment relief."

Aware that many of these taxpayers may require additional help at this time, the Assessor and his staff will host local outreach sessions in the affected communities to discuss assessment relief options.

"While the assessment and appeal process is ongoing, sometimes an emergency or disaster merits a special response," Berrios explained.

Owners with substantial structural building damage affecting market value are urged to apply for assessment reductions. Teams of representatives from the Assessor's Office will help taxpayers in recording and documenting
flood damage in their appeals.

"Government needs to do whatever it can to aid residents who have been affected by flooding," Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said. "People throughout Cook County have enough on their minds right now, so I'm
grateful to Assessor Berrios and the Board of Review for undertaking this vital effort to ensure that people have the extra assistance they need during these trying circumstances."

"Emotionally, there is very little we can do to replace or soften the personal loss. But, we should do everything we can to assist financially. This extension for the property tax reduction appeal process is a way for Cook County to provide the needed assistance to those who have been devastated by the recent flooding," Commissioner Elizabeth Doody Gorman said.

The Assessor's Office will work closely with county commissioners, township assessors, suburban mayors and other local officials in the affected areas. 

"These local elected officials are aware of flood zones and problems that occurred in the areas they represent and with the constituents they serve," Berrios said. "We will ask for their help in providing us with any pertinent data that will help with the appeal process."

"Flooding has been a major problem in the western suburbs and I've been working closely with the Department of Homeland Security to develop a multi-hazard disaster mitigation plan for the past two years. The assessor's efforts are another needed tool in helping the citizens of our county in rebuilding from this flood," Commissioner Jeff Tobolski said.

The Assessor's Office plans to announce outreach sessions in the following townships: Leyden, Lyons, Maine, Niles, Norwood Park, Stickney, Proviso, Riverside and parts of Jefferson. The outreaches will occur within the next six months and will be scheduled to correspond with the assessor's appeal filing period for each particular township impacted. If a particular township's appeal period has already been completed, the Assessor's Office will work directly with the Cook County Board of Review to assist taxpayers in filing appeals with that agency.

Commissioner Larry Suffredin also stressed his commitment to help those taxpayers affected. "We will work at the county to protect the rights of homeowners whose property has been damaged by the flooding," Suffredin

"In the last several weeks, hundreds of Cook County residents had their lives chaotically disrupted with these floods," Berrios said. "I want to ensure that my office does everything it can to help those taxpayers who may be entitled to special consideration and assessment relief."

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