Patlak 'disappointed' by Board of Review inequities
Cook County Board's new Board of Review chairman, Dan Patlak, continues to voice is disappointment in fellow review board members who failed to support a staffing resolution during a meeting earlier this week.
"I am very disappointed that my fellow commissioners rejected my plan for equal distribution of resources between commissioner staffs at the Board of Review," District 1 Commissioner Patlak told Chicago City Wire. "Any objective person can see that it is the right thing to do."
The lack of support for the resolution could have far-reaching affects on the tax-appeals body, Patlak said.
"The Board of Review was created by the state legislature to ensure property owners get a fair review of their assessment complaint so they will end up paying only their fair share of taxes," he said. "My proposal empowers each of the commissioners to review the appeals with the same resources. Anything else is unfair.
Patlak, one of the relatively few Republicans on the Cook County Board, is on one side of what the Dec. 5 edition of Crain's Chicago Business called the Board of Review's "nasty verbal war" over "who gets how many staff aides." Patlak claims recent staffing decisions have "shortchanged his office" to the benefit of two Democrat County Board members, District 3 Commissioner Larry Rogers and District 2 Commissioner Mike Cabonargi.
The feud between the three began after Patlak was informed he would receive one of 11 additional staffers funded in the county's new budget that went into effect Saturday, according to the Crain's report. Patlak has 23 members on his staff, compared to Cabonargi's 21 and Rogers's 27 but under the new budget, Cabonargi will have 26 and Rogers will have 32, Crain's reported.
Patlak, during the Dec. 3 Board of Review meeting at which he became chairman, offered a "Fair Hiring Plan" resolution that would have provided each commissioner with 30 staff members, but the motion failed for lack of a second.
"My two fellow commissioners, both Democrats representing majority Chicago districts, declined to support the Fair Hiring Plan resolution because of politics, and that's why I am disappointed that we did not agree that we should have the same staff and resources to review taxpayer appeals," Patlak said in his comments to Chicago City Wire. "Given the property tax crisis that is overwhelming property owners throughout Cook County, I feel that Monday's political decision sadly elevates patronage considerations over service to our constituents. This is at the expense of the Cook County Board and the resources they provided to us."