To the Editor:
Assessing property can be simple, transparent and straight-forward or it can be complicated and involve mysterious multipliers. Put me with the former.
If elected, my work as County Assessor will be based three basic principles: fair taxes, make a real difference, put people first.
According to Illinois statue, all real property must be assessed every four years. Along with assessing property on a set schedule, I will set procedures to assure that new homes are added to the tax lists immediately, and I will establish written guidelines for each assessor to follow in order to assure property is assessed consistently and equally.
This means some homeowners may pay higher taxes than they currently are, and some may pay lower taxes. But this also means everyone will pay their fair share of taxes.
I will take an aggressive and active role in performing the duties of my elected job, as opposed to the lackadaisical attitude that has grown over the last 40 years of one-party rule in the assessor's office. I will set the procedures and the standards and assure that each employee follows both.
In addition, I'll work with local governments, and with real estate professionals, and I'll pull spot-checks on assessments to assure that our systems and procedures are working.
I will foster a positive and welcoming attitude toward tax payers, assuring a transparent organization where everyone is welcome and all questions are answered politely.
And I'll go a step further, taking the office to the taxpayers. Before my office begins the assessment process in a township, I'll call a public meeting in that area to tell everyone our systems and procedures and to let local taxpayers know what to expect. When the process is concluded, we'll call another open forum to discuss the trends we found.
The assessor's office must serve the people, do so cordially and openly, and assure fair taxes. I will make that happen.
Ed Cockrell, Republican
Candidate for St. Clair County Assessor