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Welcome to the Training, Research, Advocacy, and Education Network, Inc. (TRAEN, Inc.):

 an Illinois-based think tank dedicated to educating and engaging the public

in programs and policies benefitting taxpayers and businesses. 


2021 Property Tax Breaks Study: Recently Updated!

In light of a recent article published by the Chicago Tribune, we've updated one of our studies! 

TRAEN, Inc. examined two of Cook County’s income-based property tax exemptions—the Long-Time Homeowner Exemption and the Senior Freeze Exemption—to uncover misuses that warrant annual audits and the issuance of Erroneous Exemption Notices. Click to learn more!

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This study examines Assessor Fritz Kaegi’s claim that he has shifted some of the tax burden from individual homeowners and small businesses to larger corporations. Changes to the Land Assessed Value of a property are not necessarily identical or proportionate to the changes made to the Building Assessed Value.  Increases to the LAV can lock in permanent tax increases for taxpayers. 

-999- parcels are plots of land throughout Cook County created during the digitization of property tax maps for unclassified or unidentified land. These parcels were meant to be temporary; the Assessor was to go back and reexamine them to determine how they would be classified for taxation purposes. This reexamination never happened. TRAEN Inc. conducted a study to determine the amount of lost tax revenue. It concluded that overlooking one such plot resulted in approximately $2,206,446 in unpaid taxes.

In ideal circumstances, reassessment is a uniform process for properties in the same neighborhood and of the same property type. What we have found as part of our ongoing research is that there are notable cases in which the Assessor appears to have grossly devalued properties as part of the reassessment cycle. The two oddities we have found are a series of townhomes including 1849 S Prairie Avenue and the condo units at 545 W Aldine Avenue, both located in Chicago. 

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