Show me the buyer.

letter to Cook County (Illinois)

Treasurer & Assessor

2010 November 15

D Street descriptions, assessments and taxes 2009-2010

We refuse to fulfill your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

letter from Cook County Treasurer

2010 December 3

Prosecute local government officials

for property theft under color of law.

letter to USDOJ

2010 December 4

24 D Street

assessments and taxes 1976-2010



We pay property tax all our lives, whether we rent, are in the process of buying, or own our shelter.  We pay taxes all our lives for city services we don't want, need or get.

We can keep our costs for services within our budget if municipalities

  1. admit that we have a right to save money and ensure quality by doing the work ourselves or using our money to hire private providers; and

  2. finance their departments by fees per use.

The Illinois constitution guarantees free schools (K-12), but the schools aren't free.  The state finances free schools with taxes on property, including homes, and on income and sales, as well as a lottery (a voluntary tax on gamblers, many of them poor).  State laws pass administration of property taxes to counties, along with power to seize properties when owners are tax delinquent.  But, there are some Catch-22s for people who guzzle at the property tax trough.

The property owner has signed no contract with the school district, county or state to finance schools or any other government services.  The property owner hasn't put his house up as collateral for the loans that a school district incurs to finance schools. 

Municipalities, counties and states derive their power from the people (an aggregate of individuals).  None of the people has a power or right to seize the property of another in the absence of a contractual provision. 

Ownership deeds in Illinois derive from a patent issued by the federal government under a 1785 act that not only guarantees the land to the original purchaser, his heirs and assigns forever, no strings attached, but embeds the reservation of five one-square-mile sections of each 36-square-miles township from sale, one section reserved for the support of schools (rental income to serve as an alternative to taxation) and four sections reserved to Congress, the rental income to serve as an alternative to all other taxes that support government services.

When Illinois first chartered municipal corporations to serve property owners, the corporation could provide services only on the consent of each owner, and had to charge each owner the full cost of improvements to his property.  Government officials and tax farmers disappeared the consentual and fee-per-service requirements when they expanded towns and cities. 

Though a power of eminent domain could be the default argument to seize tax delinquent properties (if the fundamental principles of democracy support eminent domain, but they don't), the Illinois constitution requires that government officials pay the owner a fair market price for property seized to serve public interests.  The unpaid tax is a tiny fraction of the county's own assessed market value.  The county doesn't pay the owner the difference between the unpaid tax and the market value after seizure.  To forgive the owner's alleged debt to the county isn't a fair exchange, especially if he didn't receive the services for which the county taxed him.

The 1781 Articles of Confederation granted the Continental Congress a power to tax landed property, but the Congress didn't follow through.  They enacted the 1787 US Constitution to transfer from states to the US a power to tax imports, because the tariff is a voluntary tax, like the lottery, and there are too many problems with a property tax.  The 1787 US Constitution should state clearly that a tax on landed property is improper, but it doesn't.  Several US Congresses used deceptive language to enact a property tax at the national level, using states as assessing and collecting agents.  To be consistent, the people of the US would have to authorize a new constitution to give the power to tax landed property to states, if they had such a power to grant.  The 1818 charter of Illinois statehood implies but doesn't actually grant the state a power to tax landed property for any purpose, or to sell school land reservations as a prelude to taxing property to support schools.  The sale of Section 16s was a very shady deal. 

Boards of Education demand and get the lion's share of property tax revenues now, even though the author of at least one history of US education says that the original states financed schools with a lottery.  Still, there's no conscionable or valid way parents can burden other people with the costs of schooling their children, except to sue government to restore congressional townships and school land reservations.  (It should be noted that subsequent ordinances for the sale of public lands in the western territories reserved two sections for schools and not just the one in the 1785 land act for the Northwest Territory.)

Public educators and public financiers have spent the peoples' money to indoctrinate the people to believe that tax-financed schools and other services are sacred cows of great benefit to the public, though the opposite is closer to the truth.

Tutorials are pdfs of Powerpoint presentations in notes page view.  Please click 'fit page' in your pdf reader.

part a, 9.7 mb

part b, 12.4 mb

part c, 10.5 mb

part d, 14.9 mb

part e, 27.8 mb

part f, 33.0 mb

part g, 13.0 mb

part h, 15.5 mb

part i, 32.9 mb

part j 4.6 mb

part k, 9.8 mb


part l, 27.3 mb

Part L is extracted from a prior Part L and explains how to figure out your neighbor's Cook County property index number 
The Cook County Assessor's website also allows you to enter an address or range of addresses to get the PINs you want 

Graphs of 2009 property tax billed in 2010

Updated 2015 September

Materials are presented for educational purposes only.

I'm not a licensed attorney and  don't intend the materials presented here

to replace the services of licensed attorneys

I work alone on a small, fixed personal  income.  If you appreciate my work,

take advantage of it, and are able, please make a financial contribution.

Laurel Lee

Time For Democracy

Box 477235

1704 N. Milwaukee

Chicago, IL  60647-7235


practical applications