When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi decided to give homeowners a break based on his office’s unusual effort to estimate pandemic-related job losses and use those calculations to lower property assessments.
It turned out to be a wild miscalculation that worked out well for some, including Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The property tax bill on her home in Logan Square fell after Kaegi cut her property assessment in the booming neighborhood by 11%, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis has found.
But it didn’t work out so well for homeowners in some parts of Cook County, like Greater Grand Crossing, the poor South Side neighborhood that Kaegi decided would likely face the same level of pandemic-related unemployment as Winnetka. Those South Side homeowners ended up seeing small increases in their taxes.