Keep up to date on our latest research.

Property Taxes: Assessments and Equity


Estimating Property Tax Shifting Due to Regressive Assessments: An Analysis of Chicago, 2011 to 2015, March 2018

The Impact of Property Tax Appeals on Vertical Equity in Cook County, IL | Robert Ross, May 2017


Read a non-technical briefing on our research here.

Media Coverage

The Center's study on Cook County is featured in an investigative series by the Chicago Tribune. The Center's work and Academic Director Chris Berry have been mentioned in additional reporting by the Chicago Tribunethe Economist, other media outlets. The work has also been highlighted by State Senator Daniel Biss and Cook County Commissioner Jesús "Chuy" García.

On July 18, 2017, Academic Director Chris Berry testified before the Cook County Finance Committee. The hearing was covered by ABC7, CBS LocalChicago Sun-Times , Chicago Tribune, Chicago Tonight, Daily HeraldNBC Chicago, Univision and WGN9.

Origins of the Pension Crisis

From High to Low

The Center for Municipal Finance is currently engaged in a research project to identify common factors and policy changes that caused many state and local plans to transition from being well-funded to underfunded during the 2000s. This analysis will prove useful to fund managers and policy practitioners as they consider various alternative strategies to efficiently sustain similar funds in the long term.

The research team aims to analyze the actuarial valuation data for state and local government pension funds over a time period of 2000 – 2015 to determine and explain the factors that led to increases in unfunded pension liabilities. These factors will be organized into six major categories including: insufficient employer contributions, deviations from expected investment returns, and changes in actuarial assumptions. The Center will publish reports on each pension fund, and a summary report that identifies common trends amongst all funds studied.

By broadly categorizing and summarizing the many intricate contributors to unfunded pension liabilities, the Center aims to make this previously nebulous information accessible to a wider audience. This accessibility is now more critical than ever, as public attention to government pension fund challenges is rapidly increasing.


Understanding How the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System Became Underfunded

Understanding How the Education Retirement Board of New Mexico Became Underfunded