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Home property taxes still rising despite bigger hike on business
A new report indicates that rising taxes for business still will leave average homeowners owing up to $135 more.

Monday, June 29, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business
by Greg Hinz

The average homeowner in Chicago and Cook County will pay an extra $32 to $135 in property taxes in bills due next month—despite much bigger increases for business in the north and northwest suburbs.

That’s the bottom line of the report on bills for tax year 2019 that was quietly posted online Monday by Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough. The payments are due on Aug. 3.

As previously reported by my colleague Alby Gallun, the new bills reflect the impact of the property revaluation just completed in the north and northwest suburbs by newly installed County Assessor Fritz Kaegi.

Kaegi generally shifted much of the property tax load from homeowners to businesses, saying commercial properties overall had been relatively under-assessed by his predecessor, Joe Berrios. That action has angered some business groups, who say it would be unsustainable even if the COVID-19 pandemic was not ravaging the local economy.

But because local governments raised their property tax levy—and because Kaegi’s assessments legally must be based on the value of property last year, before COVID hit—overall bills are still going up.

Thus, according to Yarbrough’s report, average bills for single-family homes in the city are rising from a modest $32.43 on the South Side, or 1.34 percent, to $75.30 on the North Side (1.44 percent) and $111.65 in the central area (1.9 percent).

The bite is somewhat higher in the north and northwest suburbs, with the average bill rising $134.68, or 1.82 percent. And it’s close to that in the south and west suburbs, up $103.54, or 1.81 percent.

The hikes are much larger for offices, shopping malls, rental apartments and other commercial properties, the report says. Those hikes range from 5.22 percent to 7.21 percent in the city ($709.88 to $7,771.94) to an average 11.39 percent in the north and northwest suburbs or $9.906.41. The average is a more modest $1,834.41, or 4.55 percent, in the south and west suburbs.

Suburbs hit the worst with rising bills were Bensenville, an average 43.16 percent; Deerfield, up 23.92 percent; East Dundee, up 18.59 percent; and Elk Grove Village, up $13.67 percent. At the other extreme, Olympia Fields, Inverness, Dixmoor, Barrington Hills and Deer Park all saw declines in their municipal levies of 3.16 percent to 14.46 percent.

The average tax value of all property in the county in 2019 increased by 5.3 percent, mostly driven by triennial reassessment of the north and northwest suburbs.



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