Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios - aka "I'll be The Mouthpiece for Anyone with a Dollar" - is pushing legislation in Springfield that would raise the real estate taxes paid by Illinois landlords. He has advocated denying the homestead exemption to landlord's which would result in substantially higher real estate taxes.  Under current law, the homestead exemption may be sought on rental properties if the tenant is responsible for the payment of taxes.  As we all know, any costs associated with a rental property are almost universally passed on to the tenant - whether it be the mortgage, maintenance, repairs, etc.  The proposed legislation is entirely misplaced and comes at the worst possible time.  Many Illinois landlords are operating on razor thin margins and find themselves with properties that are in many cases under water.  In short, may landlords are on the brink of bankruptcy themselves. Either they are pushed over the edge or the costs of the increased tax burden are shifted to the tenant.  Either way, one party will bear the burden at a time when the economy is fragile and the housing market is far from stable.

To add insult to injury, Commissioner Berrios also wants to levy fines and penalties going back six years to gouge landlords for even more in taxes.  Enough.  Joe Berrios - you are an idiot!