- Associated Press - Thursday, December 14, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) - Two nonprofit groups have sued the Cook County Assessor, claiming the office disproportionately put the burden of residential property taxes on minority homeowners.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday by the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council and Logan Square Neighborhood Association in Cook County Circuit Court. Attorneys allege violations of the Illinois Civil Rights Act and the federal Fair Housing Act, among others.

The groups claim low-priced residential properties were overvalued, while high-priced ones were undervalued, contributing to inequalities in property taxes along racial lines.

A spokesman for Assessor Joe Berrios, a Democrat seeking re-election, calls the lawsuit “politically motivated.”

Several officials, including Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, want Berrios to resign. Berrios has also had to testify about this office’s practices.

The lawsuit follows a joint Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois property taxes investigation.

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