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Afternoon Shift

Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios on property taxes, nepotism

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(WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)
Here’s the good news: This year, property tax bills have arrived in Cook County mailboxes in record speed. The bad news? Many of those bills are up, despite lower home values.

The Cook County Assessor’s Office is charged with setting property values to help determine each owner’s taxes. Monday on Afternoon Shift, we talk with the man who oversees the office, Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios.

Berrios has been under fire lately for hiring his sister and son to work for him. The Cook County Board of Ethics recently slapped Berrios with a $10,000 fine and ordered him to fire them.

Berrios isn’t backing down from his decision, though. He’s challenging the ruling, citing a previous Cook County State’s Attorney's opinion.

Earlier this month, he explained to WLS 890  AM that he doesn't see any harm in keeping his son and sister on staff:

“Well as long as they’re showing up for work and doing the work they’re supposed to work, yeah, it’s right. If you’ve got someone who’s a ghost payroller or someone not doing the job, then it’s wrong. But as long as they’re coming in and doing a good job, and I have great expectations for them, because I demand more of them than I do anything else.”

Tune in Monday just after 3:30 to get the latest from Assessor Berrios.

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