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Today’s number: 6.8 percent

Thursday, May 07, 2015
Capitol Fax
by Phil Kadner

Chicago has the lowest composite property tax rate (that’s combining all the tax rates within the city) in Cook County. The county clerk’s office, which annually publishes a chart of tax rates, reports that Chicago’s composite property tax rate in 2013 was 6.8 percent.

Ford Heights, one of the poorest suburbs in the nation, had a composite rate for that year of 39.9 percent, Park Forest was at 32 percent and Chicago Heights at 29.9 percent.

Those three suburbs had the highest property tax rates in Cook County, but you can look anywhere outside of Chicago and find higher property tax rates in the county.

The reason is quite simple. For decades, suburban schools have been financed on the backs of homeowners. But Chicago gets piles of money in education grants from state government and has such a large commercial and manufacturing base that it has been able to fund its schools without the eye-popping tax rates the rest of the state has been struggling with. […]

Editorial writers act like a 2 percent tax rate hike for public education in Chicago would result in a massive wave of newly homeless people hitting the streets.

Hey, the property tax system in Illinois is unfair. I’ve been screaming about that for 20 years. But Chicago politicians never seemed to care because the system worked for the city, and the rest of us ended up paying more in property tax than we did on our mortgages.



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