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Cook County, Illinois assessor election 2022: Democratic candidates Fritz Kaegi, Kari Steele

CHICAGO (WLS) — The job of the Cook County assessor is to establish a fair and accurate assessment on close to 1.8 million parcels across the county.

That assessment plays a role in determining how much you pay in property taxes. There are two Democrats running for the office.

Fritz Kaegi is the incumbent. He was elected to that office in 2018. At the time, he said he would overhaul the system making it more fair and transparent.

Our Chicago: Part 2

“We made sure that the biggest buildings downtown were paying their fair share and that has held the line for homeowners. Residential property taxes up just one percent each of the last two years in Cook County. And for the majority of homeowners in Chicago and the majority of the homeowners in the north suburbs had lower property tax bills last year for the first time in 10 years. Many in the south suburbs did too in places like Harvey and Markham where the average property tax bill was down more than $500,” Kaegi said, going on to state that he modernized the office by replacing the technology. “So many people’s frustration with the system are due to that old technology.”

His challenger is Kari Steele, who’s currently president of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of the Greater Chicago Board of Commissioners.

“I decided to jump into this race because as I traveled across the county I’m hearing constituents complain about the assessed value of their property, not understanding why their property tax bill would be late and I could not sit back and just listen to people complain about the problem. I had to be part of the solution,” Steele said.

“First, improve administration at the Cook County Assessor’s Office. Also, increase transparency,” Steele said when asked what she would to do have a more fair assessment process. “I’ll make sure assessments are fair, accurate and reflect the market and make sure the proper exemptions are applied.”

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