Tagreferendum

Should the Recorder of Deeds office go away?

House of the Day #33: 3302 S. Normal

A “house” in Bridgeport at 3302 S Normal Avenue. The photographer, Eric Allix Rogers, noted in the caption that he saw on the Recorder of Deeds website that it was in foreclosure (in 2010).

When you vote in Cook County the general election this fall, which has already started here, you’ll find a question on the ballot asking you if the Recorder of Deeds office should be folded into the Clerk’s office.

It should.

The referendum is binding, and would take effect in 2020, the year of an election for a county recorder. There’s an election this year for county recorder and incumbent Karen Yarbrough is the only candidate.

The move will save taxpayer money, according to the Civic Federation, but which Yarbrough doubts. The consolidation is one step towards having a single office manage all of the county’s property records.

Currently four offices – all of which are elected – manage information about property: The recorder keeps track of property ownership and transaction; the assessor determines property value; the treasurer collects property taxes; and the clerk sets the tax rates.

Yarbrough deserves credit for the electronic record keeping innovation she brought to the office. A consolation is a further innovation. Yarbrough is correct that the recorder and clerk offices don’t have overlap, but there are efficiencies that can be devised and implemented as these two offices – along with the other two offices – exist for the same purpose: to collect property taxes.

Chicago Cityscape also advocates that the four property tax offices adopt open data policies that make property ownership, value, and tax rate info accessible.

Should Cook County become a state?

“A state Republican legislator has introduced a bill to the Illinois General Assembly to separate the Chicago’s county from the state–effectively making the midwestern city the 51st state in the union” via Yahoo! News.

I’m just thinking aloud here:

  • We could fix our own transit funding issues. We wouldn’t have to compete with transit funding for downstate agencies (at the state level, competition at the federal level would still exist).
  • We’d be a very small state, 5.3 million.
  • Metra would be tough to deal with, unless it came under CTA control first! Har har.
  • I think this could make the State of Chicago a larger economic powerhouse without the meddling of so many different legislators.

What else would be different if Chicago (and Cook county) was its own state?

“These liberal policies are an insult to the traditional values of downstate families,” Mitchell told the Decatur Tribune. “When I talk to constituents, one of the biggest things I hear is ‘Chicago should be its own state . . . .Our voters’ voices were drowned out by Chicago.”

That’s kind of funny. Like Chicagoans are a bunch of abortion-having, dolphin-saving, vegan, bisexual couples.

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