Small business owners have a message for Assessor Fritz Kaegi


Renew Cook County is the voice for property tax fairness and was established to highlight the impact of assessment decisions on small business, employers, local communities and the entire regional economy. Renew aims to bring together commercial and industrial property owners, local business, their employees and hundreds of communities across the region with a shared goal to encourage growth, stability and tax fairness in Cook County.

These are the voices of Cook County business owners who are struggling with the unpredictable and dramatic increases in their property taxes.

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The Voice of Hubie Greenwald

President, The Greenwald Company

I worry about the future of our city and if it will maintain its place as one of the best cities in the world because of our financial problems – starting with property taxes. While there are many facets that make up our excessively high property taxes, a key ingredient is assessments.

Read Hubie Greenwald’s letter to the editor here

The Voice of Greg Fischer

Owner, Wild Blossom Meadery

I own property and am president of a small business in Beverly, and Winery, and I am gravely concerned about the property tax assessment increases. If property taxes increase in the southern suburbs similar to what happened in the northern suburbs, then I will be forced to close my business and sell my property.

Read Greg Fischer’s letter to the editor here

The Voice of Linda Ekendahl

Owner and manager of two Edible Arrangements franchises

I try to be an optimist but it’s super scary for me. If what happened in the north [triad] happens to me, my business will be done, I am learning a lot about Cook County while trying to operate a business here. The Assessor does not have sympathy for small businesses like mine. He doesn’t realize his actions hurt jobs. At what point do I give up?

Read Linda Ekendahl’s letter to the editor here

The Voice of Jerry Ettinger
President, Ettinger Realty

The time has come for Assessor Kaegi to recognize his approach isn’t working and needs to be modified so it’s more supportive of small business and commercial property owners.

Read Jerry Ettinger’s recent letter to the editor here

The Voice of Lucy Torres
Owner, Express Employment Professionals

As a small business owner who rents in Cook County, I am worried about the increasing property assessment changes and how they are going to be passed on to tenants such as myself. My business employs 11 people and we find jobs for over 300 people weekly; I know how uncertainty and overinflated property tax assessments hurt everyone. This is a major threat to Chicagoland and Illinois.

The Voice of Jimmy Chen
Owner, Five Poke Burrito Restaurants

If the Assessor continues with his process unchanged and there is a massive increase in property taxes in the rest of Cook County, my business is done. Our business has very low profit margins and a twenty percent or more increase to our tax burden would kill us.

Read Jimmy Chen’s recent letter to the editor here