Homes on 17th Street in Pilsen. Credit: Stephanie Lulay/ Block Club Chicago

WEST TOWN — Is your property tax bill through the roof?

Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd), Cook County Commissioner Bridget Degnan and Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi want to help.

If you’re a resident of the West Chicago Township, you are invited to Hopkins’ West Township Property Tax Exemptions and Appeals Workshop on Monday. The free workshop will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. in the gymnasium of Near North Montessori, 1434 W. Division St., in Noble Square.

Bring a copy of your recent property tax bill or a copy of your property index number (PIN). The deadline to appeal a bill is July 26.

For years, the assessor’s office operated a system that punished the poor and rewarded the wealthy through overvaluing low-priced properties while undervaluing high-priced ones, a series of 2017 and 2018 articles co-published by the Tribune and ProPublica found.

RELATED: The Tax Divide: Inequities and Errors Riddle Cook County’s Property Tax Assessments

The investigative series was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting and resulted in the downfall of former assessor Joseph Berrios.

In June, freshly appointed Finance Committee Chairman Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) told Block Club he planned to bring Kaegi, Berrios’ replacement, before the Finance Committee to discuss what City Council can do to make property taxes more equitable.

Waguespack, who lives in Bucktown, said he has seen property tax assessments increase upwards of 70 percent on his home in recent years. He insisted he would bring reform to the powerful committee.

“We are going to level the playing field for everybody,” he said.

RELATED: ‘Ultimate Outsider’ Scott Waguespack Has Big Plans To Reform Ed Burke’s Finance Committee Fiefdom

The West Chicago Township of Cook County borders North Avenue to the North, Pershing Road/39th Street to the South, Harlem Avenue to the West and the Chicago River to the East.

Neighborhoods that lie within the West Chicago Township include Austin, Belmont Central, Belmont Heights, Belmont Terrace, Big Oaks, Bucktown, Craigin, Dunning, Edison Park, Galewood, Garfield Park, Hanson Park, Heart of Chicago, Hermosa, Humboldt Park, Irving Park, Irving Woods, Jefferson Park, Kelvyn Park, Kilbourn Park, Lawndale, Little Village, Logan Square, Monteclare, O’Hare, Old Norwood, Oriole Park, Noble Square, Norwood Park, Pilsen, Portage Park, Schorsh Village, Tri-Taylor, UIC, Ukrainian Village, Union Ridge, West Loop, West Town and Wicker Park.

Not sure where to find your bill?

The Cook County Property Tax Portal combines property tax information from the Cook County Assessor’s Office, the Board of Review, the Clerk’s Office, the Recorder of Deeds and the Treasurer’s Office into one unified website.

Residents can enter a PIN or address to access five years’ worth of history related to appeals, exemption opportunities or liens. The site will also help owners get information to begin the process of appealing a tax or applying for a missed exemption.

To find more information, visit

If you have questions about the July 22 event, email Hopkins at, or call his office at 312-643-2299. 

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