Assessor Berrios develops new tax incentive

Property-taxes_web[dropcap]C[/dropcap]ook County Assessor Joseph Berrios announced that an ordinance he crafted with Cook County Board Commissioner Peter Silvestri, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development will create a new commercial property tax incentive. The Commercial Urban Relief Eligibility (CURE) will help to restore and develop empty store fronts in the city of Chicago and suburban Cook County.

“By restoring vitality and commercial enterprise, we are boosting the economic well-being of the county as a whole, and ultimately providing increased tax revenue for municipalities and schools,” said Commissioner Peter Silvestri.

A commercial property may qualify for CURE under certain circumstances, which include 12 consecutive months of vacancy, the value of the property has decreased for three of the last six years, and the property has been deemed a redevelopment priority by the local municipality.

“There was an issue vocalized to my office by the communities of Cook County to deal with new and existing food deserts,” said Berrios. “It is my intent, and the intent of the county, to make properties more desirable for grocery stores to do business in these areas.”

The CURE incentive, when applied, will use a 10 percent level of assessment for the first three years, 15 percent in the fourth year four and 20 percent in the fifth year. The incentive program can be renewed.

“This proactive incentive is about bringing and keeping businesses in Cook County,” said Berrios. “Properties that have been a drain on the local tax base will be developed and this will ultimately lessen the tax burden on homeowners.”

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