Chicago News: Cook County homeowners must pay for tax breaks they shouldn’t have received, Illinois Democrats assault weapons ban, Chicago plans to keep Bears


Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. This is an approximately 5 minute read that will educate you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon will be mostly cloudy with rain likely and highs near 74 degrees. Clouds will remain this evening and temperatures are expected to drop to 67. Chicagoans can expect sunny skies Saturday and Sunday with highs of 76 and 84 respectively.

Afternoon Edition

The most important Chicago news of the day, delivered every weekday afternoon. Plus, a bonus number on Saturday dives into the city’s history.

top story

Pay, Cook County orders homeowners after Sun-Times reveals unwarranted tax breaks

A wealthy couple have agreed to repay more than $67,000 in property tax relief they wrongfully claimed over two years for their 58th floor condo at Water Tower Place.

The daughter of a dead mobster must repay $16,271 in tax breaks she got after her father’s name was repeatedly signed off on claims to cut property taxes on their Bridgeview home.

And an 89-year-old woman must repay $90,552 in property tax breaks for homeowners and seniors that she continued to enjoy even after her Pilsen apartment building was sold to a company controlled by her grandson .

After a series of reports from the Chicago Sun-Times revealed questionable tax breaks, the staff of Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi ordered four people to repay a total of $254,298 for years of tax breaks they shouldn’t have gotten.

And, in a rare move for the assessor’s office, the dead mobster’s case was turned over to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to determine if any laws were broken in falsely claiming the exemptions, which which has reduced the house’s property tax bills.

Other homeowners have seen their property taxes skyrocket after Kaegi staff recalculated the exemptions they had claimed under one of the most lucrative property tax exemptions – the ‘senior freeze’. which can significantly reduce tax bills.

This tax relief caps property assessments for people age 65 or older whose household income is less than $65,000. The law creating this exemption was intended to protect seniors against rising property taxes in up-and-coming neighborhoods.

Two years ago, the assessor granted the master freeze for 144,904 properties, which transferred $250 million in property taxes on the other 1.77 million properties in Cook County. In total, Cook County taxpayers pay $15.5 billion a year in property taxes.

Tim Novak and Lauren FitzPatrick on the impact of reporting here.

More news you need

  1. Among the harrowing stories emerging in the aftermath of the Highland Park parade shooting are tales of community members supporting each other amid the violent chaos. Our Brett Chase spoke with two doctors – Dr. Loren Schechter and Dr. David Baum – who went from observing the parade to treating the injured.
  2. Illinois Democrats are working behind the scenes to drum up support to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines as the fallout from the Highland Park massacre continues. Governor JB Pritzker and state lawmakers are also looking for ways to fix flaws in the state’s gun owner identification card system and pass other gun control measures. fire, reports our Tina Sfondeles.
  3. South Side residents will soon have access to a range of new physical and mental health care options with the opening of a new $43 million health center in Woodlawn. Billed as a one-stop-shop for preventive and primary care, organizers at the Friend Health Woodlawn Center say the center will serve 35,000 patients a year and help reverse decades of divestment on the South Side.
  4. Putting a dome over Soldier Field, increasing the lowest seating capacity in the NFL, installing synthetic turf and selling naming rights won’t keep the Bears in Chicago, said sports marketing expert Marc Ganis. Even if the city could implement every idea in a report from a mayoral panel that studied how to reinvent Soldier Field and the museum campus, the bears are pretty much gone.
  5. Mayor Lori Lightfoot has $2.5 million in her campaign war chest – three times the take of her highest-ranked competitor, excluding millionaire businessman Willie Wilson – after raising 1, $25 million in the second quarter. A day after former CPS CEO Paul Vallas poured $836,500 into his mayoral campaign fund, Lightfoot saw Vallas’ opening bid yesterday and raised it to $413,500.
  6. For its 30th anniversary, Sun-Times critic Richard Roeper took a look at the beloved classic “A League Of Their Own.” The film continues to sound like a groundbreaking sports movie with a female-led cast and female director, Penny Marshall, writes Roeper.

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A bright

In Pilsen, the weekly Aztec dance ritual offers joy and a connection to tradition

On Thursday evenings, as long as it is warm, the playground in Harrison Park in Pilsen becomes a stage for leaping dancers and the age-old sounds of drums.

It’s the rehearsal of a traditional Aztec dance that has become a popular neighborhood gathering. About 20 dancers, including children, rehearse with bandanas around their foreheads and rattles attached to their ankles.

The dancers train with a group called Huehuecoyotl, which means “ancient coyote” in Nahuatl, an indigenous language spoken in Mexico. The band began rehearsing in Harrison Park last summer partly because many of its members live around Pilsen.

Axel Becerril (left), Sergio Abrajan Flores and other members of the Huehuecoyotl dance group practice at Harrison Park in Pilsen.

Axel Becerril (left), Sergio Abrajan Flores and other members of the Huehuecoyotl dance group practice at Harrison Park in Pilsen.

Huehuecoyotl is one of many Aztec dance groups in the Chicago area. More than just entertainment, the group dances to reclaim and preserve the indigenous cultural identity of Mexicans in Chicago.

“The Azteca dance is a Mexican tradition that has been going on for hundreds of years,” said Ana Patiño, one of the group’s leaders, in Spanish. “It creates harmony in the community and with nature. It also teaches you discipline and promotes strength.

Their dance is a ritual, a ceremony, says Sergio Abrajan Flores, who leads the rehearsals. It is an offering, a moving prayer used to meditate, heal and connect with nature and all that surrounds it.

“The danza is a representation of the universe – a little version of it here on earth,” Flores said.

WBEZ’s Adriana Cardona-Maguigad has more on community practices here.

From the press gallery

Your daily question ☕

What makes Chicago different from other cities?

Email us at [email protected] and we might feature your response in the next afternoon edition.

Yesterday we asked you: what is the greatest movie shot in Chicago of all time?

Here’s what some of you said…

“”Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” has everything you’d want to see in Chicago – Lakefront, Michigan Avenue, music, excitement, drama, Wrigley Field, the Art Institute, and the stage where Ferris’ friend Cameron drives the car father’s sports car out of the wrong end of the garage. What’s missing?— Gene Tenner

“The Greatest Chicago Film of All Time is ‘The Blues Brothers.’ This Iconic, Star-Filled Film Redefined the World’s Perception of Chicago, From Al Capone & Gangsters to Jake, Elwood & Kick-Ass Music and outlandish comedy bits (just too many to list here!) George Klippel

“‘Adventures in Babysitting’ — because it’s wacky and nostalgic” —Greg Kulevitch

“‘Cooley High’ has the best-written script that features three-dimensional characters in believable situations and shows the city’s cityscape – from downtown to neighborhood.” —Jim Rafferty

“There are so many great movies shot in Chicago. Some of the often overlooked quarters that show more quarters are “Thief”, “Medium Cool”, and the original “Child’s Play”. —Antoine Imburgia

“‘The Incorruptibles!’ It will always be a classic, with the cinematography of our city during the prohibition era!Voni Lacey

“’The Fugitive’, because it is, was filmed mostly at my old 46th grade school in Greenwood. “The Blues Brothers” because the scene with Ray Charles was filmed on 47th one block from the El. ‘Ferris Bueller’ because I was downtown watching them film the Twist and Shout scene – and finally ‘Adventures in Babysitting’ because after the movie ended I got a job in this building, there are so many more to list! —Camille Austin

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