Residents near 606 trail worry about high taxes

Jessica D'Onofrio Image
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Homeowners near 606 Trail worry about tax hike
Community groups kicked off an outreach drive to educate homeowners about appealing their property tax assessment.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The new 606 Bloomingdale Trail opened last month to a big celebration, but nearby residents now worry that the beautiful 2.7-mile trail will spur skyrocketing rent and property values in Logan Square and Humboldt Park.

On Tuesday, community groups kicked off an outreach drive to education homeowners about their options for appealing their property tax assessment over the next two months. The process is free and does not require a lawyer.

"Filing for property tax appeals is not a difficult process however most people don't know that the process exists," said Juan Carlos Linares, of the Latin United Community Housing Association.

The group hopes to visit every home between North and Armitage avenues, from Western Avenue to Pulaski Road.

The effort is led primarily by young people, who want to prevent families from being priced out of their neighborhoods.

"There's always the fear that when the assessment comes, my family might not be able to pay the mortgage on the house," said Jennifer Velazquez, 21, has lived in Logan Square her entire life.

Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th Ward) said he is working with the county assessor to create a long-term solution.

The group also hopes to maintain the neighborhood's ethnic diversity and stave off gentrification. Neighborhoods at the western end of the 606 have been primarily Latino for decades.

"The neighborhood has changed rapidly to mostly Caucasian," said Jesus Velazquez, of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association. "Now me and two other neighbors are the only Hispanics living in the neighborhood."