Regarding the recent ruling by the Lake County Board of Review limiting assessment-appeal assistance only through licensed attorneys, I have some pertinent questions:
Is the Board of Review to serve the taxpaying public through equanimity, or to grant a monopoly to lawyers at the expense of homeowners? Would they in good conscience allow seniors, and others, to lose their homes because of unfair assessments they can't afford to fight? Does limiting the choice of competent representation adequately serve those who need it the most?
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Does the board actually believe lawyers are better qualified to determine fair market value of properties than real estate agents who appraise and sell properties every day to serve their clients and must depend on their knowledge of the market to make a living?
Unrealistic appraisals do not lead to home sales, so a competent agent must be well grounded and informed to be able to prosper. In contrast, many attorneys are "jack-of-all-trades, master of none." A law license is not necessarily the same as real-world property value expertise.
Is this just another exercise in control by those in power over the people who are forced to pay the bills?
In my understanding, the Board of Review is appointed by the Lake County Board. Will this power-grab be rewarded or rejected by the county board? Where does your county board representative stand on this issue?
Will the Board of Review be replaced by people more responsive to the taxpayers? Is the goal equitable assessments, or just usurped advantage over people who cannot afford attorneys? Where are our county board members when we need them?
I haven't heard a peep from any. It seems to me that our county government isn't working for us, but vice-versa.