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Whose property taxes went up most in Chicago?
'IT'S OUTRAGEOUS' | Property tax bills coming out this week jump as '7%' cap is gradually lifted

Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Chicago Sun-Times
by Abdon Pallasch

Four out of five Chicago homeowners will see their property taxes go up when they get their bills later this week, Cook County Assessor Jim Houlihan said Monday.

In the West Garfield Park neighborhood, the median tax bill will jump 46.4 percent, the highest spike in the city, according to the numbers compiled by Houlihan's office.

"I think it's outrageous. It doesn't seem fair," said Latonya Nelson, 39, who rehabbed a 100-year-old graystone opposite the park with her husband. "Especially with the economy being the way it is."

The main reason for the higher tax bills is the phaseout of the "7 percent" cap on property tax increases, Houlihan said.

Houlihan's controversial effort -- backed by Mayor Daley -- used a complicated math formula to shield homeowners in gentrifying neighborhoods from sudden steep property tax hikes. The formula shielded the first $40,000 of home value from tax hikes and aimed to prevent homeowners' bills from going up more than 7 percent a year.

Lobbies representing businesses and owners of commercial and apartment properties complained the program shifted some tax burden to them. House Speaker Mike Madigan remained a skeptic of the bill and two years ago he pushed through a staggered phaseout. So last year, the first $33,000 of city home values was protected. This year, that number drops to $20,000. That's why the bills will be higher, Houlihan said.

"This is a direct result of Speaker Madigan's phaseout of the 7 percent homeowner exemption," Houlihan said. "This is the one thing that worked. For the first three years, when it was really going, it protected homeowners. I met with the mayor and urged him to go to Springfield and try to reverse that. The budget indicates how serious the problem is: The mayor has $35 million to deal with that."

Mayor Daley's budget released last week included a pot of money to give $200 each in property tax relief to homeowners hard-hit by the phaseout. Daley is expected to talk about property taxes today, but it is unclear whether he will back an effort to revive the 7 percent program still unpopular with Madigan and business owners.

At the time he argued for a phaseout of the program two years ago, Madigan pointed to one study that argued the program's benefits were exaggerated.

Critics said the plan mainly benefitted yuppies. But Houlihan points to the accompanying chart as proof the West, Southwest and Northwest sides were the main beneficiaries and will now be hit the hardest by the phaseout.

The staggered phaseout of the program hits the city hardest and earliest, Houlihan said.

The amount of property value protected from tax hikes in north suburban properties drops from $33,000 to $26,000 this year, so tax bills will go up there too, but not by as steep a rate as in the city, said Houlihan spokesman Eric Herman.

In the south suburbs, where median home values are going down, the first $33,000 of home values are still protected from taxation, so homeowners there in general will not be hit as hard, he said.

Treasurer Maria Pappas expects to mail Cook County tax bills Wednesday, so they could be landing in homeowners' mailboxes as early as Thursday.

"They're trying to build the neighborhood back up, but if property taxes are going to go up 46 percent, a lot of the older folks aren't going to be able to pay that," said West Garfield Park's Matt O'Brien, 52, who works as a Dominick's grocery store cashier.

"The problem is, we're going to get taxed out of our properties," said his neighbor Kate Lane. "'Cause this is the best part of town. We've got the Eisenhower ... the Congress 'L,' the Douglas 'L,' we're getting taxed out for the rich folks and we poor folks are going to have to find somewhere to go."

North Tri Homeowner 2008 Taxes (No Long Time Qualifiers)
Municipality # of HO Parcels 2007 Median Taxes 2008 Median Taxes Percent Change 2008 Median Exemption Amount
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS 20,130 $5,224 $5,711 9.30% $26,000
BARRINGTON 1,448 $5,654 $5,923 4.80% $26,000
BARRINGTON HILLS 624 $15,065 $15,020 -0.30% $26,000
BARTLETT 3,599 $5,042 $5,279 4.70% $20,973
BUFFALO GROVE 5,628 $3,616 $3,861 6.80% $20,046
DEERFIELD 19 $6,107 $6,547 7.20% $26,000
DES PLAINES 14,519 $3,744 $4,171 11.40% $26,000
ELGIN 4,800 $3,429 $3,477 1.40% $20,226
ELK GROVE VILLAGE 8,796 $3,366 $3,716 10.40% $24,859
ELMWOOD PARK 5,125 $4,002 $4,490 12.20% $26,000
EVANSTON 13,803 $5,549 $6,002 8.20% $26,000
FRANKLIN PARK 4,210 $3,380 $4,056 20.00% $26,000
GLENCOE 2,522 $15,291 $16,103 5.30% $26,000
GLENVIEW 11,945 $6,547 $7,071 8.00% $26,000
GOLF 120 $12,091 $12,511 3.50% $26,000
HANOVER PARK 3,697 $3,382 $3,497 3.40% $22,851
HARWOOD HEIGHTS 1,591 $4,061 $4,369 7.60% $26,000
HOFFMAN ESTATES 12,091 $3,955 $4,408 11.40% $25,247
INVERNESS 1,970 $10,605 $11,247 6.10% $26,000
KENILWORTH 707 $21,604 $22,640 4.80% $26,000
LINCOLNWOOD 3,598 $6,289 $6,923 10.10% $26,000
MELROSE 105 $3,638 $4,129 13.50% $26,000
MORTON GROVE 6,326 $4,720 $5,300 12.30% $26,000
MOUNT PROSPECT 12,759 $4,636 $5,130 10.60% $26,000
NILES 7,197 $3,789 $4,220 11.40% $26,000
NORRIDGE 3,890 $3,553 $3,987 12.20% $26,000
NORTHBROOK 10,040 $7,260 $7,707 6.20% $26,000
NORTHFIELD 1,818 $7,022 $7,707 9.80% $26,000
NORTHLAKE 1,999 $3,297 $3,985 20.90% $26,000
PALATINE 15,618 $4,550 $5,022 10.40% $24,692
PARK RIDGE 10,444 $6,757 $7,176 6.20% $26,000
PROSPECT 3,977 $3,594 $3,699 2.90% $22,274
RIVER GROVE 2,082 $3,143 $3,686 17.30% $23,400
ROLLING MEADOWS 5,959 $3,324 $3,718 11.90% $26,000
ROSELLE 977 $2,875 $3,014 4.80% $21,987
ROSEMONT 425 $4,215 $4,514 7.10% $18,021
SCHAUMBURG 18,230 $3,273 $3,492 6.70% $21,010
SCHILLER PARK 2,083 $3,561 $4,194 17.80% $22,309
SKOKIE 15,179 $4,516 $5,097 12.90% $26,000
SOUTH BARRINGTON 1,050 $12,825 $12,950 1.00% $26,000
STREAMWOOD 9,734 $3,418 $3,513 2.80% $21,615
UNINCORPORATED COOK 16,770 $3,603 $3,927 9.00% $22,498
WHEELING 7,276 $3,435 $3,691 7.50% $22,411
WILMETTE 7,283 $8,772 $9,372 6.80% $26,000
WINNETKA 3,244 $16,821 $17,625 4.80% $26,000

City of Chicago Homeowner 2008 Taxes (No Long Time Qualifiers)
Community Area # of HO Parcels 2007 Median Taxes 2008 Median Taxes Percent Change 2008 Median Exemption Amount
ALBANY PARK 4,635 $3,617 $3,981 10.0% $20,000
ARCHER HEIGHTS 1,935 $2,092 $2,384 13.9% $20,000
ARMOUR SQUARE 1,490 $2,610 $2,793 7.0% $16,155
ASHBURN 9,272 $1,659 $1,827 10.1% $20,000
AUBURN GRESHAM 7,310 $1,101 $1,174 6.7% $18,086
AUSTIN 10,304 $1,703 $1,972 15.8% $20,000
AVALON PARK 2,441 $1,197 $1,278 6.7% $17,452
AVONDALE 3,983 $3,836 $4,163 8.5% $20,000
BELMONT CRAGIN 8,383 $3,120 $3,407 9.2% $20,000
BEVERLY 5,196 $2,836 $3,139 10.6% $20,000
BRIDGEPORT 3,942 $2,671 $2,983 11.7% $20,000
BRIGHTON PARK 4,461 $2,128 $2,408 13.1% $20,000
BURNSIDE 490 $875 $929 6.2% $13,543
CALUMET HEIGHTS 3,741 $1,282 $1,344 4.9% $15,187
CHATHAM 4,868 $1,291 $1,351 4.6% $13,555
CHICAGO LAWN 6,373 $1,504 $1,773 17.9% $20,000
CLEARING 5,164 $2,174 $2,517 15.8% $20,000
DOUGLAS 1,329 $2,365 $2,535 7.2% $7,356
DUNNING 9,371 $3,079 $3,431 11.4% $20,000
EAST GARFIELD PARK 1,362 $2,049 $2,349 14.6% $20,000
EAST SIDE 4,386 $1,129 $1,168 3.5% $15,736
EDGEWATER 8,347 $2,195 $2,383 8.6% $20,000
EDISON PARK 3,097 $3,808 $4,206 10.5% $20,000
ENGLEWOOD 2,530 $612 $764 24.9% $20,000
FOREST GLEN 5,027 $5,002 $5,401 8.0% $20,000
FULLER PARK 268 $480 $618 28.6% $19,842
GAGE PARK 4,262 $1,620 $1,884 16.3% $20,000
GARFIELD RIDGE 8,166 $2,176 $2,485 14.2% $20,000
GRAND BOULEVARD 1,685 $2,780 $3,003 8.0% $5,500
GREATER GRAND CROSSING 3,632 $1,195 $1,311 9.7% $18,323
HEGEWISCH 2,415 $1,120 $1,172 4.6% $15,797
HERMOSA 2,244 $3,065 $3,360 9.6% $20,000
HUMBOLDT PARK 4,396 $2,220 $2,586 16.5% $20,000
HYDE PARK 3,250 $2,378 $2,448 3.0% $14,215
IRVING PARK 6,872 $3,690 $4,080 10.6% $20,000
JEFFERSON PARK 5,283 $3,470 $3,837 10.6% $20,000
KENWOOD 1,896 $2,532 $2,759 9.0% $12,939
LAKE VIEW 15,420 $3,991 $4,076 2.1% $13,241
LINCOLN SQUARE 4,932 $4,121 $4,477 8.6% $20,000
LINCOLN PARK 11,231 $5,518 $5,684 3.0% $18,791
LOGAN SQUARE 7,023 $3,957 $4,265 7.8% $20,000
LOOP 4,247 $3,035 $3,113 2.6% $6,931
LOWER WEST SIDE 2,182 $2,363 $2,758 16.7% $20,000
MCKINLEY PARK 1,994 $1,980 $2,260 14.2% $20,000
MONTCLARE 2,113 $3,066 $3,419 11.5% $20,000
MORGAN PARK 5,187 $1,582 $1,659 4.9% $16,825
MOUNT GREENWOOD 4,996 $2,079 $2,365 13.7% $20,000
NEAR NORTH SIDE 17,327 $3,921 $4,044 3.1% $11,889
NEAR SOUTH SIDE 3,690 $3,952 $4,008 1.4% $5,500
NEAR WEST SIDE 6,847 $3,487 $3,594 3.1% $5,500
NEW CITY 3,629 $1,350 $1,661 23.0% $20,000
NORTH CENTER 4,943 $5,928 $6,323 6.7% $20,000
NORTH LAWNDALE 2,303 $1,709 $2,046 19.7% $20,000
NORTH PARK 2,746 $3,885 $4,273 10.0% $20,000
NORWOOD PARK 9,617 $3,544 $3,922 10.7% $20,000
OAKLAND 279 $3,298 $3,451 4.7% $5,500
OHARE 2,254 $1,986 $1,951 -1.7% $14,080
PORTAGE PARK 9,833 $3,417 $3,777 10.5% $20,000
PULLMAN 1,247 $944 $998 5.8% $15,869
RIVERDALE 268 $518 $532 2.7% $8,273
ROGERS PARK 4,978 $2,384 $2,450 2.8% $13,790
ROSELAND 8,388 $1,057 $1,099 4.0% $14,521
SOUTH CHICAGO 3,833 $1,073 $1,147 6.9% $17,631
SOUTH DEERING 3,063 $756 $782 3.4% $12,260
SOUTH LAWNDALE 4,877 $1,885 $2,197 16.6% $20,000
SOUTH SHORE 4,537 $1,420 $1,478 4.1% $14,523
UPTOWN 6,942 $2,895 $3,026 4.5% $10,709
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS 6,016 $1,060 $1,105 4.2% $15,094
WASHINGTON PARK 490 $2,059 $2,254 9.5% $5,500
WEST ELSDON 3,183 $2,018 $2,327 15.3% $20,000
WEST ENGLEWOOD 4,330 $623 $700 12.3% $18,232
WEST GARFIELD PARK 1,400 $1,397 $2,045 46.4% $20,000
WEST LAWN 5,745 $2,072 $2,397 15.7% $20,000
WEST PULLMAN 5,890 $933 $961 3.1% $15,040
WEST RIDGE 9,506 $3,084 $3,218 4.3% $20,000
WEST TOWN 9,786 $4,585 $4,816 5.0% $9,422
WOODLAWN 1,517 $1,959 $2,128 8.6% $17,433


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