Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

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:  
   
 
 

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.

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



A drop in people, a $1 billion rise in property taxes

Monday, December 02, 2019
Daily Herald
by Jake Griffin

Property tax collections by local governments in Illinois increased nearly $1 billion between 2017 and 2018 even as the state lost thousands of residents over that year.

Combined, 6,042 local governments received $31.8 billion in property taxes last year, according to Illinois Department of Revenue reports. That was $944 million more than what was collected in 2017 by those agencies.

Meanwhile, the state lost 45,116 residents in 2018, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures. That increased the tax burden on the remaining population to pay for services provided by towns, schools, counties and other local governments.

Statewide, local governments combined to collect $2,496 in property taxes for every resident in 2018, up from $2,413 per person in 2017, according to a Daily Herald analysis. In Cook and the collar counties, the amount of property taxes collected per resident is even higher.

The results of the analysis highlight the number of local governments in Illinois -- the most in the nation -- as well as how much local governments rely on property taxes, government finance experts said. Local governments that collect property taxes also include townships, park districts and a bevy of smaller specialized agencies that oversee operations of libraries, fire protection districts and other amenities.

Ralph Martire, executive director of the bipartisan Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, said that while the state's population decline has been much ballyhooed, it's not enough to move the needle on local government expenses.

"Public services are labor-intensive," he said. "The population shifts would have to be much more dramatic to allow local government authorities to significantly reduce head count."

Property taxes are the primary funding source for schools and many other local government agencies, said Laurence Msall, head of The Civic Federation, a nonpartisan government research organization that specializes in Illinois tax and financial policy. He said that while property tax increases are limited by a state tax cap law, that only applies to local governments in certain parts of the state, it can be overridden by home-rule authority, and the cap affects only certain parts of local governments' overall property tax levy.

Msall believes consolidation of local governments would reduce administrative and personnel costs, which are the largest drivers of local government expenses.

"Costs are not tied to delivering services to a smaller and stagnant population. They are tied to the historical levels of expense," he said. "Unless (Illinois) chooses to force consolidation and efficiency, the overhead remains fairly constant."

While it is true that property tax revenue continues to grow each year, 2018 was the first year since 2014 that the single-year increase fell below $1 billion statewide, according to the IDOR reports.

More than 80% of the new property tax revenue came from Cook and the collar counties, which lost a combined 25,346 residents from 2017 to 2018.

In Cook County, local governments collected $2,899 per resident in 2018. That was $117 per person more than in 2017, according to the analysis. Cook County's plethora of local governments were responsible for more than half the additional property tax revenue collected last year statewide.

DuPage County's local governments collected $3,138 in property taxes for every resident in 2018, up $88 from the year before. Local governments in Lake County collected $3,422 in property taxes per resident in 2018, up $75 per person from 2017.

In Kane County, local governments received $2,499 per person in taxes, up $62 from last year's per-person cost. In McHenry County, it was $2,724 for every resident, up just $20. And in Will County, local governments collected $2,801 per person, up $80 from 2017.

Increasingly, that cost is borne by homeowners rather than businesses. Nearly two-thirds of the property taxes collected in Illinois come from homeowners. In 1999, residential property taxes made up barely half the total property tax collection in the state.

Here's how much in property taxes local governments combined to collect per resident in 2017 and 2018.

Local governments' taxes rising

County 2018 2017

Cook $2,899 $2,783

DuPage $3,138 $3,050

Kane $2,499 $2,436

Lake $3,422 $3,347

McHenry $2,724 $2,704

Will $2,801 $2,721

Source: Daily Herald analysis of IDOR and U.S. Census Bureau records

Got a tip?

Contact Jake at jgriffin@dailyherald.com or (847) 427-4602.

 



Recent Headlines

Editorial: Taxation tough love from Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi
Friday, December 13, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County’s property tax burden is shifting in the suburbs: Businesses could be hit hard, but homeowners might catch a break
Thursday, December 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

The other financial storm threatening to capsize Illinois' economy
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

County: Higher property taxes partly a hangover from foreclosure crisis
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Glencoe District 35 increases property tax levy by 4.45%
Sunday, December 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Niles Township Property Tax Appeal Workshops Offered In Skokie
Friday, December 06, 2019
Patch

Want to pay your property taxes early? Here's how.
Wednesday, December 04, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Column: Twitter exchange with Cook County assessor sums up outrage and exodus: Tax hikes are paying for debt, not services.
Tuesday, December 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Niles taxing bodies, including schools, set to share $3.4 million surplus of TIF district funds
Tuesday, December 03, 2019
Pioneer Press

Unknown tale: Father George Clements’s role in Cook County court reform
Monday, December 02, 2019
Injustice Watch

State panel faces Dec. 31 deadline for property tax relief recommendations
Monday, December 02, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A drop in people, a $1 billion rise in property taxes
Monday, December 02, 2019
Daily Herald

In tents and under bridges, a new Cook County sheriff’s office program helps hard-to-reach drug users
Sunday, December 01, 2019
Chicago Tribune

No pay-to-play in the Cook County assessor's office
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Dorothy Brown’s office debuts upgrade to criminal court computers to wide ridicule
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Chicago Tribune

What's happening to Chicago's safety-net hospitals?
Monday, November 25, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Health CEO ousted by board
Friday, November 22, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County OKs suburban infrastructure funding
Friday, November 22, 2019
Daily Herald

Cook County Health CEO out at the end of 2019 after hospital system opts against renewing his contract
Friday, November 22, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board greenlights 2020 budget
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

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