Suffredin- Changing County Government  

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:  

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


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

  The Cook County Law Library is the second largest County law library in the nation.

Tax cap hits Southland biz hardest

Monday, March 26, 2007
Daily Southtown
by Jonathan Lipman Staff writer

Businesses in the Southland would be some of the biggest losers under either of the proposals to cap Cook County property taxes that are under debate in Springfield, says a new report.
But the study by the Civic Federation also says that if lawmakers do not cap assessments, the impact on homeowners could be dire, with taxes jumping almost 20 percent when the average south suburban homeowner is reassessed in 2008.
"The positive aspects of the exemption, that it serves as a 'shock absorber' and contributes stability to the property tax system, far outweigh its drawbacks," said federation president Laurence Msall in a press release.
The 7 percent cap limits how much the assessed value of a home can jump when it is reassessed, which happens every three years. The law is expiring, and its renewal is mired in a murky political battle.
Cook County Assessor Jim Houlihan backs a proposal that would renew the cap and increase its maximum allowed value to homeowners to $60,000.
Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan wants the "cap on the cap" to stay where it is, $20,000.
Business groups are opposed to both proposals.
The federation, an independent good-government research group, broke down the average impact on different kinds of property owners for each proposal.
Because the cap limits property taxes on homes, it means an increase in taxes for commercial and industrial properties. But Houlihan has argued that those properties otherwise get a huge cut in taxes because homes have been growing in value much more rapidly.
Nowhere is this shift more clear than in the south suburbs, according to the new report.
Without the cap, the average homeowner's taxes are likely to grow by 19.8 percent when property is reassessed in 2008, according to the report.
The same year, taxes on commercial properties in the south suburbs would drop 2.7 percent, as more valuable homes accounted for a bigger share of the tax levy.
If the $20,000 cap was renewed, commercial properties would actually see an increase in taxes of about 5.6 percent. In other parts of Cook County, taxes on those properties would still fall. Meanwhile, homeowners would see a tax increase of only 3.5 percent.
The shift is even greater under Houlihan's proposed $60,000 cap. But spokesman Lucio Guerrero said homeowners have had to bear too rapid a rise in taxes.
"The 7 percent cap balances everything," Guerrero said. "So the commercial properties (in the south suburbs) do get an increase, but the residential decrease isn't as much as other areas. So everybody still kind of pays their fair share."
Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said the speaker favors the program overall, but wants the maximum benefit to homeowners to remain capped at $20,000.
In Orland Park, almost 1 in 5 homeowners hit that limit last year, according to the report, meaning the taxable value of their land still went up more than 7 percent per year despite the cap.
"If you raise the number too high, you're no longer helping long-time homeowners, you're helping wealthy people," Brown said. "And you'll further aggravate the shift onto businesses."
Political battles over unrelated issues are also hamstringing the bill. Legislation needs to pass in the next few months if it's going to affect Chicago's tax bills.
If the cap fails, it will be a bigger burden on some homeowners than on others. Overall, the south suburbs would see a much smaller growth in taxes without the cap than in the city or north suburbs.
But the poorest communities would be hurt he worst. With no cap, the average homeowner's tax bill in Harvey would shoot up 45.9 percent, the highest of any Cook County suburb.

Recent Headlines

Illinois Supreme Court sets civil, criminal fee schedule
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Seniors: Are your Cook County property taxes delinquent? Your home could be at risk
Thursday, February 14, 2019
WLS Abc 7 Chicago

Editorial: Look out, taxpayers: When governments have more pensioners than employees
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Hundreds of accused criminals on electronic monitoring are missing
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
ABC Channel 7

Glenview adopts Cook County minimum wage and sick leave ordinances, effective July 1
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit over property tax assessments survives challenge
Monday, February 11, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Thursday, February 07, 2019
Special to

Cook County Jail detainee dies at Stroger Hospital
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office Says Its Gang Database Is on Lockdown, but Questions Remain
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Pro Publica

Charges dismissed against man accused of threatening judge
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Daily Herald

Double Down: Twin Brothers Rehabbing Chicago
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Defender

Slowik: Residents, officials celebrate rehab work at public housing sites
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Daily Southtown

Class action: Evanston can't charge 'convenience fees' to people paying tickets online
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Cook County Rercord

390 arrested in nationwide prostitution sting, including 38 in Cook County
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

As we build a road, we will protect the forest preserves
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Campaign to weed out European buckthorn across the suburbs
Tuesday, February 05, 2019
Northwest Herald

Airbnb hosts in Cook County earned $109 million last year: report
Monday, February 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County senior exemption deadline extended
Monday, February 04, 2019
Daily Herald

Decadelong legal battle over Barrington Hills horse farm — eyed as huge forest preserve — may be nearing resolution
Monday, February 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

EDITORIAL: Protect iconic forest preserve from concrete overkill
Sunday, February 03, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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