Endorsement: Rashid for Democratic primary for Cook Board of Review seat
The distinction between two Democratic candidates for Cook County Board of Review from District 1 could not be much more profound.
Abdelnasser Rashid, of Justice, with degrees from Harvard and the University of Chicago School of Business, served in the office of Assessor Fritz Kaegi, promoted legislation to make it easier for seniors to get property tax exemptions and served as deputy chief of staff for former County Clerk David Orr. He wants to expand the use of technology so that tax appeals decisions not only can be made more quickly but also can more accurately reflect true market value both for commercial and private properties.
Tammy Wendt, of Palos Heights, is an attorney and longtime real estate professional with no prior political or government experience who believes that commercial property owners are being abused by changes Kaegi implemented aimed at creating more balance between private and commercial property assessessments.
It is not too much of a stretch to say that if you liked the administration of former Assessor Joe Berrios, Wendt is the candidate for you. We were not Berrios fans on numerous levels, particularly including his fostering of a system of property assessments so imbalanced it came with a built-in expectation that private property owners would have to appeal.
Under the approach Wendt proposes, commercial properties could expect successful appeals that would naturally create an increased burden for homeowners. Rashid's call for fairness for all is much more equitable and realistic. He adds to his appeal with an insistence that staffing in the three-person office -- a Democratic-fueled controversy that has worked against taxpayers in District 1 -- should be distributed evenly among commissioners.
The winner of the Democratic primary will face an uphill battle against incumbent Republican Dan Patlak in November. Rashid is the candidate best suited to that challenge, and he gets our endorsement.