The new Clare condo owners were told they can live there tax free because it is owned and operated by a non-profit religious organization through a 99-year lease from Loyola University.
"A change of ownership and use triggered the assessment process and The Clare was sent a preliminary notice on September 24th," explained Eric Herman from the Cook County Assessor's Office, "in James Houlihan's eyes, the ownership has changed." While Loyola used the previous building at that address it had an "educational" tax exempt status. The assessor determined that the status of the property has changed as well.
In an e-mail statement provided to the I-Team Thursday evening, Clare spokesman Kevin Rose defended the property tax exemption. "The primary mission of the Clare is to provide a wide range of services to residents and the community, including services specifically designed to meet the needs of the elderly. The Franciscan Sisters of Chicago Service Corporation (FSCSC) believes the Clare property should be exempt from real estate taxes because the Clare is a religious, educational and charitable ministry."
Note: The Poor Clare's of Chicago are not a part of this project. The building is named after the foundress of all Franciscan sister's St. Clare.
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