Park Forest Drops PTAB Complaint Against Ash Street

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— Before adjourning sine die and reorganizing, the Village Board concluded old business by dropping its appeal to the Illinois Property Tax Appeals Board (PTAB) for the Ash Street Cooperative.

According to the memo prepared by Village Manager Tom Mick for the meeting, for more than a year, the Village worked on various issues related to the severe drop in property taxes paid by each of the five housing cooperatives in Park Forest. This work included meeting with the Cook County Assessor’s Office and with Park Forest-area Legislators to share with them the problem and ask for their assistance in any corrective actions that might be possible. Additionally, the Village met on numerous occasions with all of the cooperatives to discuss what took place and how the concept of voluntary payments in lieu of taxes on their part would aid the entire community.

As a result of these initiatives, the Village was able to secure more than $150,000 in voluntary payments in lieu of taxes from four of the five cooperatives in Park Forest. Ash Street Cooperative was the only one to not contribute. The funds contributed by the cooperatives were used directly toward lowering the tax levy set by the Village in December 2006.

The Village dropped the its appeal primarily due to the legal costs that would be involved if the action went forward. "Village legal counsel has noted that continued pursuit of the complaints will require substantial court costs. These costs are expected to be between $75,000 and $90,000," Mick said in his memo. "In assessing the corrective measures taken by the Cook County Assessor’s Office on this matter, Village Attorney Scott Longstreet advises against spending such an amount of money when very little movement can be expected above and beyond what the Assessor’s Office has already corrected."

The motion passed 6-1, with Trustee Cynthia Reed casting the lone vote against.

After the vote, Mayor Ostenburg presented a plaque to Trustee Reed and thanked her for her year of service on the board.