January 29, 2021
News from SSMMA

"Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi’s attempts to fix a property tax assessment system widely viewed as unfair continue to shift the tax burden away from homeowners and toward businesses.

Late last year, the first-term politician completed his second round of reassessments, this time setting the value of individual properties for taxing purposes in the south and southwest suburbs.

The median home assessment rose about 4%, while business and industrial properties saw a median increase of about 44%. Apartment buildings with seven or more units, which analysts say are significantly undervalued in Cook County, went up by a median of about 80%.

The practical effect of that? Many homeowners could see a break when property tax bills arrive later this year — and businesses could end up paying more. Many south suburban officials say that could thwart decades-long efforts to promote economic development in a region plagued by disinvestment.

'Our concern is we’re going to have more stagnation in investment and potentially further divestment if businesses find it too onerous to come back within our communities, and that’s a downward spiral,' said Kristi DeLaurentiis, executive director of the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association.

. . .

'The biggest impediment to economic development in the Southland is the property tax burden' Richton Park Village President Rick Reinbold said. 'We have a workforce. We have transportation — the highway systems, the rail. We check all of the other boxes, except that property tax.'"

Read the full article at www.chicagotribune.com.

More SSMMA News

  • A brief tutorial on how to use the latest dashboard feature, SSMMA's demographic analyses by community, is available here.

  • If you'd like more information on the dashboard, or a one-on-one walk-through of its features and how to use them, please contact Kai Funahashi at kai.funahashi@ssmma.org.

  • Interested in becoming an Associate Member of SSMMA?

  • Read a letter from our Association President, Mayor Tyrone Ward, and Executive Director, Kristi DeLaurentiis, outlining the benefits of membership here. Ready to join? Fill out the application.

COVID-19 News from the Governor's Office
Vaccine Phase 1B began on January 25, 2021. It includes all Illinois residents age 65 years and older and frontline essential workers.

Regions 7 and 10 have both moved into Tier 1 mitigations, allowing for increased hours and capacities for local businesses, among other eased restrictions.

More COVID-19 News

Cook County opened the first of several large-scale vaccination sites on Tuesday, January 26 at Tinley Park Convention Center. County officials expect to be able to provide as many as 3,000 vaccines per day when the Tinley Park site is fully optimized and when adequate vaccine is available. 

“This first large site in the Southland is indicative of our commitment to distribute vaccine equitably, but we fully expect that demand will quickly outpace supply. It is critical for people to understand that while we are anxious to vaccinate everyone who wants to be vaccinated, vaccine supply remains the biggest limiting factor. We are asking Cook County residents for their continued patience as we work to ramp up one of the largest County-operated vaccine programs in the country,” said Israel Rocha, CEO, Cook County Health.

Read the full article at nbcchicago.com.

FREE COVID 19 TESTING - Illinois Action For Children’s Early Learning Programs, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Housing Authority of Cook County, and Prairie State College, will be hosting COVID-19 Walk-Up and Drive-Up community testing events in Ford Heights and Chicago Heights.

  • Ford Heights - 1055 Berkeley Avenue - Walk Up
  • Wednesday, February 3 - 8:00am to 4:00pm
  • Monday, February 8 - 8:00am to 4:00pm
  • Friday, February 12 - 8:00am to 4:00pm

  • Chicago Heights - 202 S Halsted Street - Drive Up
  • Tuesday, February 16 - 8:00am to 4:00pm
  • Thursday, February 18 - 8:00am to 4:00pm
  • Monday, February 22 - 8:00am to 4:00pm

The Southland Regional Mayoral Black Caucus hosted a virtual townhall meeting featuring Dr. Ngozi Ezike from the Illinois Department of Public Health on January 27 called "Let's Knock Out Covid 19."

Upcoming Meetings and Events
SSMMA's 2021 meeting calendar is now available, click here to view.

News from our Community Partners
  • The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) invites you to participate in a Transportation Choices Survey to help the agency better understand how travel patterns and behaviors are changing due to COVID-19. Participants will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 gift card. Take the survey.

  • Applications are now open for the Governor’s Hometown Awards (GHTA) program through February 19, for projects that occurred and utilized volunteers in their communities from the period of January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2020. GHTA gives formal recognition to those who contributed to projects that improved their community’s quality of life. Learn more.

  • CMAP and the RTA are accepting applications for a new call for planning assistance until 3:00pm Wednesday, February 3, offering targeted planning services that can help high-need communities build their capacity and implement long-term strategies. Learn more.

  • IDOT's Bureau of Safety Programs and Engineering is accepting funding applications until Wednesday, February 3 at 4:00 pm for five highway safety programs: Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program, Motorcycle Awareness Program, Non-Enforcement Program, Traffic Records Local Agency Program, and Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program. Learn more.

  • Southland Development Authority (SDA) is continuing to assist small businesses across the South Suburbs during the COVID-19 pandemic. SDA is offering PPP assistance to hundreds of Southland businesses; contact Liz Castaneda at liz.castaneda@southlanddevelopment.org for more information.

  • SDA has slots available for South Suburban entrepreneurs to access online courses through The Lonely Entrepreneur Learning Community. These courses are normally $100/month but are available for free to the first 100 registrants from the Southland. Learn more.

  • Applications are now open for ComEd and Metropolitan Mayors Caucus' Powering Communities Grant Program through March 26. Grants of up to $10,000 are available to support municipal public safety initiatives that enhance the quality of life in cities, villages, and towns in the ComEd region and among MMC member communities. Learn more.

  • Applications are now open for the Cook County Department of Environment and Sustainability's Solar Schools Grant through February 23. This program awards funds to public schools in Chicago and suburban Cook County to teach students how sunlight is converted to energy. Learn more.

  • CMAP is accepting funding applications for surface transportation projects through March 5. Projects may address safety, transit, bicycle, or pedestrian improvements, as well as traffic and freight movement, bridge and road reconstruction, and vehicles and equipment that use alternative fuel sources. Visit cmap.is/2021callforprojects for more information.

  • Applications are now open for The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)'s 2021 Transportation Justice Fellowship. NACTO seeks mobility practitioners who identify as people of color to take part in a project-based fellowship program for mid-career professionals in the US. Applications are due February 1. Learn more.

  • The Suburban Purchasing Cooperative (SPC) has been advised that General Motors' cut-off date for ordering the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Police Patrol Vehicle (Contract #185) is Sunday, March 21. For questions or additional information, please contact Tom Sullivan at Currie Motors, 815-412-3227 or tsullivan@curriemotors.com.
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