Lake County Township Assessors Sue Supervisor of Assessments

A press release from several Lake County Township Assessors:

Several elected township assessors and taxpayers file federal lawsuit against Lake County, Martin Paulson, the Lake County Chief County Assessment Officer and the Lake County Board of Review

CHICAGO, IL. – Five elected township assessors and seven taxpayers have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Lake County Chief County Assessment Official, Martin Paulson, Lake County and the Lake County Board of Review.

The three-count lawsuit was filed on October 27, 2016 by the elected assessors of

  • Grant Township
  • Cuba Township
  • Libertyville Township
  • Ela Township
  • Vernon Township.

The lawsuit alleges that Paulson is blocking the township assessors from properly valuing property because he seeks to abolish and overtake their offices.

Among other things, the lawsuit alleges that Paulson’s office completely reversed changes that the township assessors made in valuations of over 17,000 parcels in less than 72 hours, without regard to the reasons why the valuation of the parcels had changed and solely in retaliation against the township assessors.

In addition, the lawsuit details numerous provisions of the Property Tax Code that Paulson is not properly following and requests a court order requiring him to follow the law.

The lawsuit also alleges that Paulson and the Board of Review are making “off the record” deals with certain taxpayers outside of public hearings, and that such deals are improper and hurting other taxpayers.

“We are required to consider changes to properties annually to determine whether the property’s assessment has changed.

“For example, if a house burns down, we reduce the value.

“If a house adds an addition, we increase the value.

“Paulson completely eliminated all of our changes within a matter of hours,” stated Grant Township Assessor Jeri Barr.

Libertyville Township Assessor Peggy Freese echoed these concerns.

“In my Township, a taxpayer’s advocate called Paulson and received a $11,000,000 reduction in their property’s valuation – resulting in tax savings of about $910,000 to that taxpayer without any hearing or evidence at all.”


Lake County Township Assessors Sue Supervisor of Assessments — 9 Comments

  1. Lake County Supervisor of Assessments Marty Paulson is the politically-appointed god-king of property tax assessments in Lake County.

    He is totally untouchable and unaccountable to the voters.

    That’s why Marty feels safe in completely excluding the voters from the property tax process.

    Township Assessors, on the other hands, are elected officials who have to answer to the taxpayers at the ballot box.

    It’s good to be the god-king, isn’t it, Marty..?

  2. one thing that doesn’t get mentioned: this is a non Quadrennial year and just five of Lake County’s townships changed their values.

    There are 18 total.

    Just a portion of townships reassessing shifts tax burdens around, as multiple townships often share the same tax levies.

    If the lake county assessor raises the assessments of homes in the entire county a uniform 7%, everyone’s tax bill doesn’t necessarily go up.

    If the tax levies stay the same, a homeowners tax bill will stay the same as well.

    And P.S. While the county assessor isnt necessarily elected, he can be fired by the elected politicians that hire him.

  3. Just how close is he related to the maddy gang?


    I say Impeach!

    if he was public appt. he can be Un-Publc appt.

    this sort of blantant above the law tude needs to be nipped in the bud !

  4. JT: Wrong and wrong.

    The law in Illinois requires that property tax assessments be set according to market value.

    Simply putting a blanket Marty Paulson “factor” on everyone’s assessment only makes problematic assessments worse.

    Which is why statute requires Township Assessors to continuously monitor the local market values and make neighborhood-wide studies and adjustments if necessary EVERY YEAR.

    If a condo is 50% overassessed because their segment of the market has collapsed, while 200k-300k single family homes are going through the roof, HOW is it “fair” to follow the Marty system of “everybody’s the same” and force the condo owner to pay far more than his fair share of the tax burden?

    Fortunately, it’s not only unfair, it’s in violation of statute, as Marty and his Lake County cronies are about to find out…

  5. JT: And the only County where a “County Assessor” controls all property tax assessments is COOK COUNTY, and even there the Assessor is at least ELECTED.

    Even the Cook County Board of Review is elected.

    Marty Paulson and his Board of Review are not answerable to the voters at all, only to the clueless Lake County career politicians who appoint them and continue to allow them to run roughshod over the taxpayers…

  6. The Illinois Property Tax Code allows for assessors to change any assessment in any year, whether their particular township is in a Quadrennial Reassessment year or not.

    Paulson will lose.

    Lake County will lose.

    The Board of Review will lose.

    The Treasurer will lose.

    Taxpayers will lose when the court directs the County of Lake to pay the legal costs as asked for in the lawsuit. In prior years, actually for many, many years, Paulson had allowed assessors to make changes yearly.

    He actually facilitated those changes through the Mass Appraisal Software used in Lake County by both the townships and the CCAO.

    If these “changes” by assessors are now considered illegal by Barry Burton and Martin Paulson, then why did they freely and knowingly allow them in the past?

    The Chief County Assessment Officer is allowed by law to equalize assessments in order to make sure they are at 33.33% of fair market value.

    The Chief County Assessment Officer is NOT allowed to reverse, ignore or impede township assessors in completing their statutory duties.

    Paulson will lose the lawsuit and it’s about time he is held accountable for his actions.

    Wake up County Board Members of Lake County, IL.

  7. Lotus school informed the parents of the students the school is bankrupt yesterday 11/3/16.

    That’s where over half our property taxes go to!

    I smell some corruption and want some transparency and accountability to our tax dollars.

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