September Program - Property Tax Equity

Date(s) - September 16, 2020
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

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Amid calls for fairness, justice and equity, across society, long-sought fairness and equity is arriving for many on Cook County property taxes.

But these are also the times of the Covid-19 recession. The real estate market, buffeted by reduced revenue and the need to reduce operating costs, sees higher property taxes, however equitable.

The LAI Ely Chapter is excited to welcome an expert panel to discuss historical context and the current efforts to deliver property tax equity.

Panelists include Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi and Bob Orenstein, Artist in Residence at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University and Director of Telling Stories of Social Injustice Working Group.


About the Panelists:

Fritz Kaegi is the Cook County Assessor. Prior to beginning his career in Cook County government, Fritz spent more than 20 years valuing assets as a mutual fund portfolio manager and analyst. In his 13 years at Columbia Wanger Asset Management, Fritz served as a financial steward, helping average families save for retirement and focusing on small companies operating around the world. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst and Certified Illinois Assessment Officer designations. He is a member of the IAAO, the International Association of Assessing Officers.

Since assuming office in 2018, Fritz has brought fairness, ethics and transparency to the Cook County Assessor’s Office with a vision focused on operational changes, technological upgrades, and the elimination of favoritism. Highlights of his first year in office include the public release of all assessment modeling code and data, an external audit by the IAAO, the passage of law that makes senior exemptions renew automatically, the modernization of online exemptions and appeal filings, and a new collaborative approach to property valuations to increase predictability and spur investment in Chicago and Cook County.

Fritz was born and raised in the Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago and still maintains close ties to the community. He attended Hyde Park’s Kenwood Academy for high school, did his undergraduate studies at Haverford College, and received his MBA from Stanford University.

Fritz’s wife Rebecca is a teacher; they live in Oak Park, with their three children, where Fritz is a member of First United Methodist Church of Oak Park.

Bruce Orenstein is currently producing the documentary series Shame of Chicago: The Segregation of an American City. He also runs the Telling Our Stories Student Working Group at the Cook Center and teaches documentary production at the Arts of the Moving Image Program. Orenstein founded and directed the Chicago Video Project, one of the nation’s first studios dedicated to producing organizing-driven videos for grassroots social change organizations. His television credits include the Emmy-award winning WTTW documentary No Place to Live, and the nationally broadcast PBS documentaries, The Democratic Promise: The Life and Legacy of Saul Alinsky and American Idealist: The Story of Sargent Shriver. Prior to becoming a filmmaker, Orenstein led direct-action community organizations in low-income communities in Chicago and Seattle.

All registrants will be checked for paid 2020 LAI dues. If you would like to register but have not paid 2020 dues, please visit LAI’s website.

Registration is required and may close if capacity is reached.