Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

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.

   
  The Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trade 60% of the world futures contracts.
   
     
     
     



'Real' Chicago home property taxes climb 50 percent - in five years

Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business
by Greg Hinz

If you think the property tax bill on your house has been become increasingly painful, it has, a revealing new study shows. But it's even worse for those who own commercial property, especially in Chicago.

The new study comes from the Civic Federation, a fiscal watchdog group that takes an annual look at effective property tax rates in Chicago and nearby suburbs. (I'll explain in a minute what the federation means by "effective tax rate.")

With property values only now beginning to tick up after the great subprime recession and governments asking for more tax revenue every year, the result is pain, big pain, with an average Chicago homeowner paying 50 percent more than five years ago as the federation counts. Homeowners in communities such as Arlington Heights, Oak Park and Orland Park have been whacked nearly as badly or even worse. Commercial property owners in Chicago proper have been hit with bills twice what they were.

Ouch!

No wonder that GOP gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner is talking about a property tax freeze, however unlikely he is to actually implement one. And no wonder that Chicago aldermen went into collective hysteria when Mayor Rahm Emanuel moved to raise property taxes to pay for a pension reform deal with city unions. Mr. Emanuel since has partially backed off, using receipts from a telephone tax instead.

Here are the details.

What the federation does in the report is try to determine how much you pay each year relative to the market value of your property. Getting the number is no easy task, since the local property tax system is filled with complicating factors: different tax levels for different kinds of properties (e.g., factories versus condos), a state-imposed equalization multiplier and various exemptions for the elderly and other groups. The new federation report takes a shot at it by backing out all of the just-mentioned factors and using state data to determine how much you have to pay relative to how much your property is worth.

In Chicago, for instance, the average homeowner last year had to pay 1.84 percent of what their house would sell for on the market, based on recent sales data compiled by the state. That's up from 1.76 percent from the prior tax year, 2011, a 4.3 percent change.

That may not sound too bad, but the total amount that local governments ask in taxes keeps going north every year, even if the value of your home is way south of its peak. Thus, between tax years 2003 and 2012 — remember, the 2012 tax bills were not paid until 2013 — the effective tax rate on Chicago homeowners went up nearly a third, 32.4 percent, moving from 1.39 percent of a home's market value to 1.84 percent. And if you look just at the last five years, it has gone up by half, moving from 1.25 percent to 1.84 percent.

SUBURBS HIT HARDER

The same applies in Cook County suburbs. They're up across the board, with only the amount changing. In the 10-year period 2003-12, the increase for homes is a stiff 61 percent in Glenview, 97.2 percent in Chicago Heights, 111.4 percent in Schaumburg and a whopping 137.5 percent in Harvey. In comparison, Chicago's hike of "only" 32.4 percent during that period doesn't look too bad, which is why some government leaders talk sometimes about how Chicago homeowners are relatively undertaxed.

Bad as all of that is, commercial property owners have been hit harder, at least in Chicago, with a 61.7 percent hike over 10 years, with the figure more than doubling between 2007 and 2012. Most Cook County suburbs were a bit below the city figure — especially in Evanston — but still up considerably.

In the five collar counties — DuPage, Lake, Will, Kane and McHenry — every kind of property all gets taxed at the same level. So, whether you own a house, a factory or a shopping center, the pain is spread evenly.

There's a lot to go around. Over the 10-year period, the effective property tax rate has risen 45.7 percent in Wheaton, 56.0 percent in Joliet, 72.6 percent in Elgin, 93.4 percent in Woodstock and a mind-boggling 169.4 percent in Waukegan.

Now, local government leaders passed all of these hikes through their various boards and councils. But hikes of this level do pose a reasonable question of how effective property tax caps are in a deflationary era and whether a better method of financing government needs to be found.

And, while the results are not yet available for tax year 2013, federation President Laurence Msall says he believes the trend is continuing, because tax levies are rising faster than property values.

Better yet, the bills haven't come in yet for pension reform, which cuts benefits but generally requires local governments to come up with more money, too. I'll save that one for another day.



Recent Headlines

Editorial: What happened to the elk?
Friday, August 10, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wells Fargo to offer $15,000 grants to potential Cook County homebuyers
Thursday, August 09, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suit alleges Cook County detainees secretly monitored in bathrooms in holding cells at courthouses
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Half the elk at Busse Woods died last year, and officials aren’t sure why
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

A letter from Dr. Jay Shannon regarding gun violence and Stroger Hospital
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

As Evanston adapts to minimum wage hike, nearby towns say they have no plan to join in
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit could blast a $250 million hole in county budget
Monday, August 06, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Pappas: Automatic refunds of $19.5 million going to 53,000 homeowners because of property tax cuts
Monday, August 06, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Thousands of Cook County homeowners to receive property tax refunds
Monday, August 06, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Board Adopts Resolution Concerned With Foxconn Impacts
Thursday, August 02, 2018
Journal and Topics Media Group

FBI: Ex-employee alleges Dorothy Brown picked up cash payoffs at bagman's home
Thursday, August 02, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Demolition of MWRD dam to clear way for fish and recreation
Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

EXCLUSIVE: Sheriff Tom Dart to pair inmates with pet dogs
Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

County Minimum Wage, Sick Time Advisory Questions Approved for November Ballot
Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Journal and Topics Media Group

Editorial: Berrios and Kaegi: What a new assessor can and can't fix
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Your Personal Data May Be Exposed in Cook County Traffic Records
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
CBS Chicago

Garcia avoids public tiff with Preckwinkle, delays plan for county revenue forecasting commission
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County TIF districts bring in $1 billion
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County board moves to prevent repeat of pop tax fiasco
Friday, July 20, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County forest worker was going 76 mph in 30 mph zone, had THC in system during fatal crash while on job: prosecutors
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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