Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
  Cook County has the largest unified trial court system in the world, disposing over 6 million cases in 1990 alone.
   
     
     
     



Cook County plan boosts home taxes

Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Chicago Tribune
by Mckey Ciokajlo

With an eye toward encouraging rental housing development, the Cook County Board on Wednesday will consider slashing property taxes for apartment buildings through lower assessments.

To make up for it, however, the total tax bills for homeowners in the county would rise about 2 percent.

The measure is part of a complicated tax picture in Illinois. It is relatively rare for the County Board to shift the tax burden from one group to another, although it approved a similar measure four years ago that cut taxes for rental buildings and boosted them for other taxpayers, including homeowners.

The proposal, backed by affordable housing advocates and pushed by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and Assessor James Houlihan, hasn't generated significant opposition, although some question the fast track the measure is on.

"It has all the earmarks of a gift to apartment complex owners," said County Commissioner Carl Hansen (R-Mt. Prospect), who wants a public hearing on the issue.

Proponents say the tax cut for landlords would help the apartment sector while building owners are facing higher costs from utilities and property taxes, and units are being lost to condominium conversions.

But help for one class of property owners means the others, most notably homeowners and commercial property owners, pick up the tab. A 2 percent increase on a $4,000 tax bill, for example, would be $80.

The measure going before the County Board calls for reducing assessments on apartment buildings of seven units or more from 26 percent of market value to 20 percent over three years.

In 2002, the County Board approved a similar reduction for apartments from 33 percent to 26 percent.

Affordable housing advocates hope reducing the tax burden will spur the creation of more units for poor and moderate income families.

But the tax cut will benefit all ap artment buildings, whether they're in Lincoln Park or Calumet Park, and there's no guarantee tax relief would be passed on to tenants.

Houlihan said market conditions would determine rents and that a reduction in costs through lower taxes should keep them in check.

The reduction, which would be phased in over three years, would cut the taxes on the typical apartment building in Chicago by 27.5 percent by 2009, according to projections from Houlihan's office. The corresponding tax increase on homeowners and commercial property owners in the city would be 1.9 percent.

The impact in the north suburbs in 2010 shows apartment taxes declining by 20.5 percent and residential taxes increasing 2.2 percent, the assessor's report shows. The analysis does not show tax figures for the south suburbs after the new apartment assessments are fully implemented.

The shift in burden would come through tax rates, which would rise slightly to generate the revenue requested by local schools and other governments.

The wide gulf between the large tax cut for apartments and the modest increase for other classes of property is because apartments account for only 5.4 percent of the county's tax base.

Houlihan said the projections were based upon conservative estimates.

The tax increase on other properties could be even less if the move spurs the creation of new apartments faster than projected, he said.

"Any increase (in tax base) that this stimulates will temper that shift," Houlihan said.

Judy Roettig, executive vice president of the Chicagoland Apartment Association, said she's pleased Houlihan is pursuing the assessment reduction. However, she said Cook County's entire property tax system needs to be retooled.

Rising property values essentially negated the last assessment reduction for apartments approved by the county, Roettig said.

"It was a wash because values went up," she said.

Still, she calle d the current proposal "a good thing. It's a step in the right direction. It's not the total solution."

Despite the shift to residential, Barb Head of the homeowners advocacy group Tax Reform Action Coalition said she doesn't object to the new proposal for apartments, calling it "tinkering around the edges."

"The assessor is doing his darnedest to plug holes," said Head, who agrees the tax system needs to be changed.

Although it has not studied the latest proposal in detail, the Civic Federation said the impact of the tax shift would depend on the mix of properties in each community, said Laurence Msall, its president.

The organization is tentatively supporting the measure pending a more thorough analysis, Msall said.

With residential reassessment notices in Chicago set to start going out in March, the mayor and the assessor are pushing again for the 7 percent cap law, which limits in many cases the annual increase in a homeowner's taxable assess ed value.



Recent Headlines

After momentous week, prosecutor Kim Foxx says 'we have to right wrongs'
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

ONTIVEROS: I think I miss that soda pop tax
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Budget Cuts Expected For Cook County Public Guardian’s Office
Monday, November 20, 2017
CBS Chicago

Ex-Cook County Board President Todd Stroger says he's running again
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Police union president slams Foxx, prosecutors after exonerations
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

MIHALOPOULOS: Will pop-tax anger unseat Preckwinkle, or fizzle out?
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

After Warning of 'Painful Cuts,' Preckwinkle to Unveil 2018 Budget Amendment
Friday, November 17, 2017
NBC Chicago

Watchdog: Quit stalling on Cook County justice system data
Friday, November 17, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

The Week in Review: Record Wave of Exonerations Tied to Rogue Cop
Friday, November 17, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Preckwinkle, some commissioners say enough votes for amended budget
Friday, November 17, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle: Nothing Pleasant About Hundreds Of Layoffs
Friday, November 17, 2017
CBS Chicago

Cook County commissioners get behind Preckwinkle's budget cuts
Friday, November 17, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Chuy Garcia Sole Cook County Commissioner Iffy on Budget
Friday, November 17, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Preckwinkle takes on Dart in county budget process
Thursday, November 16, 2017
WLS Am-News

Mass exoneration: Convictions of 15 men, tied to tainted CPD officer, overturned
Thursday, November 16, 2017

Chicago Judge Throws Out 15 Convictions On Fears Police Reports Were Dishonest
Thursday, November 16, 2017
National Public Radio

Slowik: Debate over rezoning, shuttering of truck terminal near Lemont was 'politicized,' operator says
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Daily Southtown

Good on ya, Kim Foxx, for righting old wrongs
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Chicago Tribune

15 Men Cleared in First-Ever Mass Exoneration in Cook County
Thursday, November 16, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Wilmette to form advisory group on minimum wage, sick time ordinances
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Chicago Tribune

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP