The Sun-Times has loads of property tax stories today.
If you own a home or property in Chicago, it’s probably worth more — maybe two or three times more — than it was three years ago, according to the Cook County assessor.
And you’ll be taxed accordingly.
The Civic Federation of Chicago calculates an average 36 percent increase in every property tax bill, or $829 more a year, unless state legislators renew a homeowners’ protection bill that would drop the average hike down to about $255.
The assessor’s office finished its triennial assessment of property in Chicago, and just about every corner of the city is seeing a whopping boost in housing value.
The 7 percent tax cap expires at the end of the year. According to the Civic Federation study, “The average Chicago apartment owner’s tax bill will drop $1,051 a year with the cap and $1,643 without it, the study says. It says that commercial property owners will see their bills drop $216 with the cap and $488 without.”
Speaker Madigan voted for the tax cap extension, but he wasn’t exactly a supporter. Assessor Houlihan has blamed Madigan for the delay. Other stuff is brewing, but that’s for subscribers only.
Also in today’s CS-T package, “Who wins, who loses under 7 percent cap” … “Figure out your taxes” … “Suburban homeowners not getting break, either”
Meanwhile, over at Illinoize, Rep. John Fritchey expressed support for the Houlihan bill.
Interestingly, what I find most telling about the issue has nothing to do with taxes. People, especially conservatives, are always talking about local control. Here we have a bill that is rooted in that very concept. There is nothing mandatory about the bill, it is opt-in legislation that allows a county to implement the provisions if it so chooses. Those county officials eventually have to stand before voters and answer for their actions.
And Greg Hinz has a fascinating column about how Houlihan flexed his political muscle to “effectively take control of both of the regulatory agencies with the power to overrule his decisions.”