Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Tax cap politics
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Tax cap politics

Tuesday, Nov 28, 2006

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.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 9:34 am:

    Greg Hinz makes a specious case… Assessor Houlihan was against Murphy because she was publicly against the 7% tax cap and berated Assessor Houlihan wherever she went. Rogers was against Murphy because she is a nut and an obstacle to any reform and progress at the Board of Review. Murphy was controlled by machine Democrats because she protrected the status quo.

  2. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 9:45 am:

    “Just Observing,” the end result was the same.

  3. - Truthful James - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 10:27 am:

    Pay attention, Bill

    The State statute permits Cook County only to use property classifications in setting assessment ratios. All other Counties are required to use Assessed Value (AV) at 33 1/3 % of Estimated Market Value. Cook was permitted to have a differential between the lowest and highest AV ratio of 250%. Its ordinance said that residences would be assessed at 17%, later 16%, and Commercial would be assessed at 38%. That is inside the established differentials.

    Regulation of the system was left up to the two County review agencies.

    In substance, that meant that commercial property was paying 2.5 times the taxes that residential property of equal value paid.

    However, over time residential AV ratios dropped down to around 10%. That meant that commercial property had to pay 3.8 times the taxes.

    Not much satisfaction could be obtained from the closed loop system, although well connected lawyers like Burke and Kotlarz were able to do amazing things for their clients. Ma and Pa stores did not have much recourse.

    So appeals were made to the State and a Property Tax Appeal Board (SPTAB)was established. That provided necessary relief when it was pointed out that the 250% differential was being violated.

    Refunds were ordered and taken out of the hide of current collections being sent by the Treasurer to the taxing bodies.

    At the same time tax caps reared up and bit the locals as well. Refunds, not only for the year in contention but also for prior years blew the balanced budgets.

    At the same time NEW commercial and industrial projects were taking advantage of the County’s ‘tax abatement’ — more properly reduced taxable valuation — programs. That did not help the bulk of the commercial and industrial property owners for whom the SPTAB could be a life saver

    No property is being taxed against its AV anyway. The State, using its additional authority examines prior year sales in every County and then assigns a general multiplier to all property to bring the assessment ratios up to 33 1/3 percent — the Equalized Asssessed Valuation (EAV). In case you haven’t noticed, the multiplier for Cook County keeps increasing most every year. It is now up to 2.7320. All AV are multiplied by this. Like the dirty rain it falls on the good and the bad alike.

    What this means is that Cook County is woefully off the mark in its assessment procedures. In some Counties the equalizer is 1.0.

    Homeowners whose assessment ratio has dropped below 12.2% are now paying higher taxes than residential property owners in DuPage and Lake and Will County. And Commercial Property Owners whose AV ratio is actually 38% are paying taxes against an EAV ratio of 103.8% — the taxable value is greater than the Estimated Market Value.

    (Is it any wonder that new projects demand all the bells and whistles of TIF, tax abatement and sales tax rebate?)

    But back to the SPTAB, which issued reductions in AV to conform to the statutory spread. Given the 10% ratio on homes, that meant a reduction in AV to 25% for fortunate appealers.

    To his credit Assessor Houlihan tried, two triennials ago, to restore order, mitigate the effect of tax appeals and lower the multiplier. He appears to have raised the target ratio on residential properties to somewhere around 14% from 10%.

    This forty percent increase generally, plus the normal increase expected over a triennial raised the AV for Chicago residences on the order of sixty percent. It woke up Chicago taxpayers who equated proposed valuation increases with tax increases.

    It would also have freed the Assessor’s hands with regard to commercial property, emasculated the SPTAB, and likely lowered the State’s equalization factor to a around more manageable 1.1x.

    Unfortunately, it also affected too many political interests.

    The County and other taxing bodies regularly announce that there has been no increase in taxes. What they mean is there has been no increase in tax rate. Increased valuation allows them this privilege, while they pocket additional dollars. The last thing the machines need is huge waves of dissatisfaction, even if it is misplaced. Politicians do not go against the tide.

    In response to citizen misapprehension and the failure of the political system, the Assessor was forced to retreat. Thus came the 7% solution. He knew that at the end of the three year period the valuation would have to increase to its true level. And a second 7% solution which artfully used the EAV and increasing homeowner examption packages to avoid the charging court cases.

    Now comes a third artful solution now being discussed in Springfield.

    The failure of the County to correctly and legally apply assessment ratios at the outset — well prior to the Mr. Houlihan’s arrival — has resulted in the morass we now face. There is no attempt at rectifying that problem.

    Some of you believe commercial and industrial properties should bear an ever higher percentage of the property tax burden. They do not understand that the burden is shifted in job loss and in lower levels of new development, in higher prices at stores, and eventually in pock marked vacancies in neighborhood strip centers to the homeowner and renter.

    It is time to consider a new system.

    What do we want from our politicians, bravery or knavery, leadership or followership?

  4. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 12:39 pm:

    Rich, I beg to differ… Larry Rogers now controls the Board of Review and can institute better government practices that Berrios and Murphy tried to block.

  5. - Cal Skinner - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 12:47 pm:

    I’ll ask my persistent question.

    What percentage of what a home will sell for is the tax bill for folks in Chicago.

    The last time I looked it was almost the lowest in the state.

  6. - Bill - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 1:01 pm:

    Thanks for the skewed dissertation. Why is it so hard to realize that the people of Illinois are not buying into the conservative, Repub philosphy that businesses should actually pay less tax so that their success will eventually trickle down to the poor workers and homeowners.
    Job loss, lack of development,higher prices and vacancies,are red herrings designed to obscure theh fact that businesses are assuming less and less of a portion of the tax burden while homeowners are paying a significantly larger portion. Before going off on another reactionary rant, check out the civic federation report.
    Even you should be able to understand it.

  7. - Niles Township - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 1:01 pm:

    Here is little Mike’s info in case anyone wants to drop a note to him about the tax cap bill:

    Michael J. Madigan
    22nd District
    District Office
    6500 South Pulaski Road
    Chicago, IL 60629
    (773) 581-8000
    (773) 581-9414 (fax)
    Capitol Office
    300 State House
    Springfield, IL 62706
    (217) 782-5350

  8. - Truthful James - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 1:20 pm:

    Dear Bill,

    Since you obviously can not read dissertations, what part of the following do you not understand.

    In every other County in the State each parcel is taxed at 33 1/3 percent of market value.

    In Cook County (forget about the multiplier, which would confuse you) residential property is supposedly taxed at 16 percent (forget about the reality for you are not there yet) and commercial property at 38%.

    That means that the commercial property owner for a parcel of identical value pays 173.5% more taxes.

    People own commercial property but you choose to agglomerate them into a single derby hatted cigar chomping, children eating ogre.

    Less total dollars matters not. How about demand for public services. I guess that matters not as well.

    What we are seeing, Bill, is the result of years of violating the State Law and the County Ordinance for votes by lowering with a wink and a nod the assessment ratio for residences instead of controlling spending. In spite of the fact that, contrary to your belief, in Cook County corporations contribute much more to the Democrats.

    So tell me, Bill, how did I skew the truth?

  9. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 1:31 pm:

    Rich, Hinz must read the blog. We figured this out for him in October.

  10. - Bill - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 3:08 pm:


    OK, Ill give it one more try. Here is one of your (many)sentences:

    “That means that the commercial property owner for a parcel of identical value pays 173.5% more taxes.”
    The key deceptive phrase is “of identical value”

    Over the last decade or so residential property has appreciated much more than commercial. The portion of the total property tax burden has increased for the residential owner and decreased or remained stagnant for the commercial owner.
    The commercial property that was equal in value a few assesment cycles ago is now worth much less in value than the residential today. So the residential owner pays a larger portion of the total burden than the commercial.
    I think that you already know this and continue to argue based on philosophy rather than fact.
    I am not opposed to elected officials cutting (or increasing)spending if they feel the need. They are answerable to the voters for their actions.
    That really has nothing to do with the inequities inherent in the tax system.
    The constant threat by conservatives that business will just leave the County (or the state) is ludicrous and has been proven false. Illinois is a low tax state even including the property tax. No significant business exodus has or will take place.
    People are, however, being forced from their lifetime homes, that they struggled to pay for, for decades, due to the large increase in property taxes. You can blame the rate, assesment, multiplier, or the politicians, it really doesn’t matter.
    A fair way to assess taxes on a primary residence is to freeze the assesment at the value at time of purchase.
    Let business bear the brunt of the property tax increase for a change.

  11. - Truthful James - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 3:40 pm:

    You and I are almost in agreement at the end. I am in favor of freezing all assessed valuations until sale or improvement of the real property and for dumping the multiplier, which adds nothing to the local scene. Let the State use the multiplier if it wants to determine tax effort and the distribution of state revenues to Counties. This whole concept of highest and best use hurts the elderly. High taxes (and too easy unscrupulou credit) turf them out and cause them to abandon their homes — look at the foreclosures and the rest of it.

    However, now, for taxing purposes the shape or size or use of the property should make no difference. What I paid, no matter what classification determines its value for taxing purposes. In other Counties, some of them run by Democrats, some by Republicans, that’s the case.

    But if you could buy something in Cook at the same price that I purchased my house for, you are going to have to make allowances for paying 173% more in annual property taxes.

    You have three choices, lower your offer to purchase to reflect the expected increase in taxes over your holding period (a sound financial decision), or pass the taxes on to your store owners or buyers of your product and services or a combination of both. Your tenants have to pass it on as well. To whom? to the very people who occupy houses and apartments.

    So one effect is to lower the value of the commercial property or at lest modify the rate of growth — which has happened. A second effect is to build warehouses in Will County and in Indiana and Wisconsin. Thats one reason why commercial/industrial growth has not kept pace. The other might be described as the rturen of the yuppies. Cashing in their suburban property windfall and moving upward in Chicago.

    Boy it sure would have been nice to have had Toyota and Honda and BMW and Mercedes build plants in Illinois. When Inland Steel (with Nippon Steel looked to make what was eventually a $1 Billion dollar investment they did not even consider Cook County where we stood with shutdown plants (or Illinois for other taxing reasons.) Nope, they built ten miles west of South Bend. We have the skilled workers, the transportation centers. Shipping hot rolled steel from East Chicago to the old Wisconsin Steel plant or even to the dead facilities in Harvey would have been a snap.

  12. - Reagan Democrat - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 9:37 pm:

    Maybe too much power in the hands of Houlihan. Too many political connections for the reductions.

    Cal, Property Taxes in Chicago are too high. Not sure what they are in other parts of the state but think your numbers are skewed only looking at assessments.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Janus apparently no longer loves his state job, hires on with Illinois Policy Institute
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Pritzker meets with moms who've lost their kids to street violence, police shootings
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Fundraiser list
* Question of the day
* Caption contest!
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Campaign stuff: Morrison; Ives; Skillicorn; Nybo; Rooney; Curran; Breen; Frese
* "And admit that the waters/Around you have grown"
* A tiny bit of good news from Moody's
* Proft files suit so his independent expenditure committee can coordinate with campaigns after caps busted
* Cook shifts governor's race from "Toss Up" to "Lean Democrat" - Third-party candidates "the tipping point"
* Unsolicited advice
* The impasse and the damage done
* Entire IPHCA executive committee resigns, lawyer let go after racism controversy
* Chicago to get its first public law school, but is it a wise move?
* Doom and gloom abounds, but a new pension idea emerges
* Another lawsuit filed in Quincy veterans' home deaths: "For a year and a half, he loved that place. And it killed him"
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...






* SVM EDITORIAL: Term limits: Beware of unintende.....
* McDaniel-Hale: The decision to smoke is a perso.....
* In Bellwood, Fritz Kaegi Blasts 'Machine Po.....
* Barickman Cautious About Trump Impact on IL Ele.....
* Democrats try to rebuild the state party from t.....
* New law better protects DCFS workers..
* Illinois Makes Its IT Department a Permanent Fi.....
* Dyslexia guidebook bill signed into law..
* Naperville Now 07-20-18..
* Is Pritzker the beginning of the end for Madigan?..

* The Latest: Duck boat driver was a longtime pastor
* Illinois National Guard troops return from Afghanistan
* Veteran’s family sues Illinois over Legionnaires’ outbreak
* The Latest: Officials release boat accident victims’ names
* Judge rejects US efforts to strip terrorist of citizenship
* EXCHANGE: A family has deep roots in baseball and softball
* EXCHANGE: For 122 years, observatory has demystified the sky
* Northern Illinois man convicted of murdering sister-in-law
* Man cleared of murder has trouble depositing compensation
* UI seeks to improve access for transfer students

* Marginal amounts of legionella detected in Stratton Building
* Moody's gives Illinois finances a 'stable' outlook
* Illinois Army National Guard soldiers return home
* Marginal amouts of legionella detected in Stratton Building
* Under the Dome Podcast: Gun bills, Quincy, Trump-Putin reaction
* Incumbents hold big fundraising leads in central Illinois legislative races
* Springfield man wins Illinois State Police logo contest
* Rauner 'deeply troubled' by Trump's Helsinki comments
* Rauner signs bill to ease physician assistant hiring
* Bill taking Illinois out of voter registration system vetoed

* Home Run Pizza CEO dies
* Home Run Inn Pizza CEO dies
* Your neighbor isn't a business
* The future of the U.S. looks a lot like Chicago
* Cook County board moves to prevent repeat of pop tax fiasco

* White Sox OF Avisail Garcia expected to be activated from DL today
* None injured in fire at Elgin water treatment facility
* Sesame Street is entering classrooms: a big move for Big Bird
* Soy ‘milk’ makers may need to find alternative description
* Bears training camp: Take some time and do a side trip, a few good suggestions
* Man, 25, shot in Far South Side
* Chevrolet Silverado 1500 holds steady as 2018 model
* POT TOPICS: Weed, hemp bills stacked up on Rauner’s desk; Pot IPO raises $150M
* Police officer injured in crash in Logan Square
* Man, 25, shot in Gresham

* Special Olympics participant missing from Gold Coast
* Cubs' Kris Bryant, Addison Russell out of lineup for first game vs. Cardinals
* Bears back on the practice field Saturday morning: Live updates
* Kayaker's body found in Lake Michigan after capsizing nearly 2 years ago
* Phillips' Jahleel Billingsley — Alabama's first recruit from Illinois since 1997 — is a 'big-time talent'
* Photos: Pitchfork 2018
* Danica Patrick and other acts of sports treason
* AP sources: Pence, Bolton, Kelly confronted Trump in Oval Office about Russia comments
* 'Crying Nazi' pleads guilty to assault in Charlottesville; banned from Virginia

» The Week in Review: Public Outcry Over Police-Involved Shooting
» ‘Ali: A Life’; Sexual Harassment In Bars; NPR’s Sam Sanders
» WBEZ’s Chicago and Illinois News Roundup: July 20, 2018
» UIC To Acquire John Marshall Law School, Creating The City’s First Public Law School
» State Week: Russia Reactions, Gun Laws, Campaign Cash
» #660 PJ Morton & Opinions on Drake
» July 19, 2018 - Full Show
» Berwyn Homeowners Squeezed By School District Miscalculation
» How Conservatism Won In Wisconsin; Illinois Election Security; Special Olympics 50th Anniversary
» Illinois Prison Officials Accused of Abusing Transgender Inmate

* Scott Reeder: Understanding is what journalism should be about
* Counterpoint: His pick is bad news indeed for health care, women, consumers and unions
* Point: Kavanaugh is truly a 'judge's judge' and precisely what our nation needs
* Eugene Robinson: The 'deep state' stands between us and the abyss
* Marginal amounts of legionella detected in Stratton Building
* Moody's gives Illinois finances a 'stable' outlook
* Illinois Army National Guard soldiers return home
* Marginal amouts of legionella detected in Stratton Building
* Under the Dome Podcast: Gun bills, Quincy, Trump-Putin reaction
* Bernard Schoenburg: Bourne, Clark clash over missed votes

* 5 Questions with ... Lara Grobosky, event leader for Macon County's Relay for Life
* What you may have missed: Gun violence data, firearms bill, ospreys, National Guard, America in Bloom and ethanol
* Bloomington's Eagle Station post office moving back to Empire St.
* Cyclists honoring fallen officers stop in Twin Cities
* A place to play
* Love INC classes help build skills
* Decatur and Macon County neighbors: Obituaries published today
* Two shootings in Urbana leave man dead, teen in critical condition
* Fire calls
* Police report

* Revelations of US cardinal sex abuse will force pope's hand
* Analysis: Few good options for NFL owners on player protests
* Judge void SW Indiana city's local coal mining ban
* Chinese leader arrives for Africa visit as U.S. interest wanes
* French investigators raid home of Macron's bodyguard

* Gov. Rauner's DC allergy successfully ...
* SC lawmakers tour Nevada's Yucca Mountain
* Shimkus joins conference committee on Farm...
* Arrington to serve on Farm Bill conference...
* HHS' new plan for Kentucky work requir...
* House farm bill conference committee membe...
* House Moves to Send Farm Bill to Conferenc...
* FIBRA Prologis Announces Second Quarter 20...
* Chelsea Lining Up to Be Ground Zero in the...
* Indian-Americans are building an instituti...

* How area members of Congress voted on voti......
* Family reunifications: 450 down, roughly 1......
* Ballot security battle heats up already ho......
* In IL-6, Roskam and Casten clash over elec......
* GOP accuses Dems of stalling Kavanaugh aft......

* Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez B......
* How area members of Congress voted on voti......
* Will Route 66 become a National Historic T......
* Tammy Duckworth Wishes She Wasn'......
* Alton Fire Department awarded $227273 grant...

* An efiling nightmare -- but with a happy ending
* Snoop, the barber.
* Keeping retirement real. Regressive taxation and living in the city.
* A guaranteed basic income in Chicago...
* Prager U: War on boys
* Jeff Bezos Just Became The Richest Person Ever. Amazon Workers Just Marked #PrimeDay With Strikes Against Low Pay And Brutal Conditions.
* The Weekend Desk Report
* If wife outearns husband, she downplays it and he exaggerates!
* #fbf: A streetcar named retired with video footage
* The sad state of the sandwich at Logan Square deli Rosie’s Sidekick

* IDPH Investigation Continues As Foodborne Illnesses Increase
* Gov. Rauner signs HB 5611
* Summit for Success: IDOT providing tools, opportunity for disadvantaged businesses
* Illinois Payrolls Jump +18,100
* Liquor Control Commission Underage Compliance Report for Cook County

* Oppo F9 will come with a Pro version, passes Bluetooth certification
* Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium hands-on review
* Special Deal: You can learn the 3 languages of C & jumpstart your career
* Microsoft, Best Buy, and RavPower are offering some good back-to-school deals
* Samsung's A-series are possibly going double-digits
* There might be no Samsung Galaxy S11, but there could be a Galaxy S20
* Why go cutting-edge? Here are 7 older flagships that are still worth buying today

* Under the Radar: Kyle Kubat
* Mariners Vs White Sox Preview: Starting Pitchers, Odds, Pred...
* LeBlanc, relievers shut down White Sox
* Shields outdueled in stellar night on mound
* Mariners beat White Sox, get back on winning track
* Mariners 3, White Sox 1: New half, same loss
* Mariners 3, White Sox 1: New half, same loss

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller