On Property Records

I’ve done a fair amount of work on assessments and such both professionally and on the side with Rezko related silliness.  Rich points out the Assessor’s response here:

1) The tax bill IS listed where the Emanuel home is located. They are on two lots.

2) By “for tax purposes,” I mean that this is the location associated with the PIN. But it’s the same property.

3) Yes, it was inaccurate to say that. Because it is the same house. It was listed in our records — and the Treasurer’s records — under a different address. Had you contacted either office to check this out, we could have told you that.

4) It would be highly misleading and irresponsible for you to say that, because we don’t assess property by address – we do it by PIN. And we do it because addresses change and get combined all the time, when owners divide and combine lots. Apparently, with this property, a previous owner had taken three lots and turned them into two.

Let me make one further point: Before posting this “story,” neither you nor anybody from the Illinois Review made an effort to contact the Assessor’s office to verify it. As a former newspaper reporter, I find this shocking.

Even after learning, when I emailed you at 10:46 this morning, that there were factual problems with the story, you kept it on your web site. Moreover, you deleted my effort to correct the story from the “comments” section. I’d be keenly interested in hearing your justification for this conduct.

I’ve been known to jump way too soon to conclusions–one of the bigger recent examples was jumping on Personal PAC.  But you know what?  I apologize and admit I screwed up.

That said, with property records this is especially true for the exact reasons the assessor cites.  Because properties change all of the time you have to check out the surrounding plots and everything else before going off half cocked.  That’s actually what Matt Blunt did in Missouri when he tried to claim massive voter fraud. The Post Dispatch tracked it down correctly and found at most 14 bad votes in 2000.

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