College Students – It’s Your Future, Vote On It!

While students prepare to return to college this fall, one item they should consider is the November 6, election.

Regardless of where your college is located, you can vote in your local (home) election by registering to vote — online registration HERE. Then print and mail your temporarily absent student enrollment form HERE.  The future is yours, vote on it.

For more information, check out our Voter-FAQ page HERE, or check out Campus Vote Smart HERE.

Meet John at the Lake County Fair

I’m looking forward to meeting lots of my neighbors at the fair.  Stop by our booth (availability below) and share your thoughts on important issues facing the State, Lake County, and our local community.  Together we can MAKE LAKE COUNTY WORK FOR US.

When:      Wednesday through Friday 5 – 9pm
               Saturday 4 – 9pm
.                Sun 10 – 5pm
Where:     Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center
.                1060 East Peterson Road, Grayslake, IL  60030
.                Main exhibit hall, Democratic booth (left of hall entrance).

Assessment Notice – Is Your Assessement Fair?

If you’ve received your current property assessment notice, you should know two things that you can act upon to potentially lower your taxes:

1) You can easily appeal the valuation online HERE if you think it’s too high.
2) You can correct errors on the property description directly with your assessor.

Appealing and correcting errors can possibly lower your property taxes — especially if your valuation comes down — since your final tax bill is based on it. You can file an appeal online HERE. Online appeals take minutes, so file as soon as possible. They are free, although most taxpayers don’t file them.

Note: You only have about a month to file an appeal after receiving the assessment notice. If you miss the appeal window, you must wait another year to appeal. For a helpful video, go HERE.

Why should every property owner do this? Because the assessment process can be inaccurate and unfair. I appeal every year and have been working on tax fairness for more than a decade as co-founder of the non-partisan Citizens Action Project of Lake County. We’ve helped thousands save money on their sky-high property taxes.

Although we at CAP wrote and passed a law that mandated greater transparency on assessment and appeals, there’s more work that needs to be done at the County Board level to bring about a higher level of accountability. That’s why I’m running for Lake County Board and circulating my TAXPAYER BILL OF RIGHTS. It calls for fairness in assessments, appeals and spending.

Electing board members who understand the right questions to ask will provide the vital oversight to make the tax system understandable and accountable.

Join hundreds of Lake County residents by signing and sharing the TAXPAYER BILL OF RIGHTS with your Lake County family, friends and neighbors as we strive to hold the Lake County Board accountable and keep our taxes under control.

We’ll submit our petition to the County Board in November to show them that Lake County taxpayers are demanding fairness and accountability. Join us to make a difference!


Lake County Taxpayer Bill of Rights

As a taxpayer advocate who has spoken with residents across the county, most are in the dark about property tax assessments and government spending. They don’t think they’re being treated fairly.

I will circulate a petition as I walk the neighborhoods up to the November election requesting: Assessment Fairness, Review Fairness and Budget Transparency. The petition will be delivered to the Lake County Board after the election. If you have questions, contact me at either or 847.223.9814.

Here’s what I’m calling upon the county board and township assessors to enact:

* Assessment Fairness. We have a right to know if our assessment and equalizer are fair and uniform. How is it calculated? How does our assessment compare to similar, local properties?

* Review Fairness. We have a right to a fair review of our assessments. We need a complete, independent evaluation of how the Board of Review handles appeals in light of a recent lawsuit against the Chief County Assessor.

* Budget Transparency. We have a right to know how the county is spending our tax dollars. That means explaining every line item in the county budget as well as expenditures on administration and total litigation costs.

We need to be fully informed taxpayers and need to know if we’re being treated fairly. That means complete transparency and accountability. No excuses.

Sign and share this petition with all your Lake County friends, family and neighbors because we want to MAKE LAKE COUNTY WORK FOR US.


Earth Day: A Sustained Commitment

To me, being “green” is a sustained commitment. We need an open dialogue, a plan of action and long term thinking. That’s what we’re lacking in Lake County, but it’s eminently doable. First we need to start with the basics: A renewable energy portfolio and integrating environmental stewardship into all county operations. More on my website