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So, you think your property taxes are high?

Monday, Jun 19, 2017

* Phil Kadner

Although Chicago property tax rates jumped 10 percent in 2016, they still aren’t close to the oppressive property taxes being paid in some of the poorest south suburbs.

While the average property tax rate for a home in the City of Chicago is 7.14 percent, homeowners in Ford Heights — one of the poorest communities in the state — were paying the highest tax rate in Cook County at 38.5 percent. The property tax rate in Park Forest was second highest at 35.8 percent and homeowners in Chicago Heights are paying a property tax rate of 34.18 percent.

The average property tax rate in the south suburbs, according to Cook County Clerk David Orr’s office, is 13.3 percent, nearly double the tax rate in Chicago, while homeowners in the north suburbs are hit with an average tax rate of 9.2 percent.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has repeatedly called for a property tax freeze, which would be nice for Chicago property owners, but would do nothing at all for people living in some of the poorest communities in the state — which happen to be located in south Cook County. For more than a decade they’ve been hit with the highest property tax rates, often driving the few businesses they have across the border to Indiana.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

29 Comments
  1. - Deft Wing - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 1:12 pm:

    –”Gov. Bruce Rauner has repeatedly called for a property tax freeze, which would be nice for Chicago property owners, but would do nothing at all for people living in some of the poorest communities in the state …”

    Wut? It’a state-wide freeze, it would benefit eveyone.


  2. - Oneman - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 1:19 pm:

    Locking in a higher rate may not do you any favors, but it would prevent it from going higher.

    Some of those rates are frakin nuts however.


  3. - Romeo - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 1:20 pm:

    My property taxes are 3% of my home’s value, and even that is high. $6,000 on a house worth $200k. Property taxes are regressive, and hurt those with the least amount to pay them. It doesn’t matter how financially well off or broke you are, the County wants the biannual property tax payment.


  4. - Deft Wing - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 1:24 pm:

    The Trib’s expansive report on the scam that is Cook County assessments/taxing speaks to the disparity in treatment of certain taxpayers, particularly those in southern Cook. It seems as if there aren’t many clients for Madigan/Burke/Banks, et al. in that region.


  5. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 1:25 pm:

    If their home values are lower they may not be paying more in actual dollars than other areas.


  6. - Chicagonk - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 1:33 pm:

    The state needs to come up with a plan for municipal bankruptcy. Ford Heights couldn’t even make payroll in March and almost had the water cut off last year. If there was a muni bankruptcy plan that would allow the state to appoint an emergency manager, consolidate townships and cities where appropriate, and provide some debt relief, these communities maybe wouldn’t need to have property taxes at 40% of the assessed value.


  7. - @MisterJayEm - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 1:38 pm:

    “If their home values are lower they may not be paying more in actual dollars than other areas.”

    Lucky Ducks!

    http://gocomics.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c5f3053ef013485dc2183970c-800wi

    – MrJM


  8. - Ron - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 1:45 pm:

    - Chicagonk - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 1:33 pm:

    The state needs to come up with a plan for municipal bankruptcy. Ford Heights couldn’t even make payroll in March and almost had the water cut off last year. If there was a muni bankruptcy plan that would allow the state to appoint an emergency manager, consolidate townships and cities where appropriate, and provide some debt relief, these communities maybe wouldn’t need to have property taxes at 40% of the assessed value.

    Yep


  9. - RNUG - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 1:47 pm:

    == Wut? It’a state-wide freeze, it would benefit eveyone.==

    It’s just a freeze, but the devil.eill be in the details. Even that won’t necessarily stop individual tax bills from going up. And it doesn’t address the real problem anyway.

    == The state needs to come up with a plan for municipal bankruptcy … maybe wouldn’t need to have property taxes at 40% of the assessed value. ==

    The biggest item on most property tax bills is the school district, usually anywhere from 60% to 90% of the total. Until you address the lack of State funding to the school districts, everything else is just nibbling around the edges. And the only way you increase State funding of the school districts is with higher taxes at the State level.


  10. - say what - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 1:49 pm:

    Based on the article it would seem that it’s the equalizer that needs to be considered. Chicago due to its commercial base would always have a smaller equalized, which is why we are taxed in a million other ways from city stickers to water taxes it’s ridiculous…. A fair progressive tax is the only way to go, just do it.


  11. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 2:01 pm:

    The state needs to come up with a plan to wean local governments off of property taxes and more fairly share the costs of operating governments. That will involve consolidation as well as increased state funding.


  12. - Too Much to Handle - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 2:22 pm:

    Does anyone know what effect the new tax revenue will have on Chicago’s overall financial situation?


  13. - Union Man - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 2:44 pm:

    Makes you wonder how much drastically lower the homes are priced.


  14. - GA Watcher - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 3:08 pm:

    Over 70 percent of the average property tax bill goes to schools. The State needs to come up with a better way to fund public education.


  15. - Chicago 20 - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 3:12 pm:

    The bottom line is the poor will always pay more and get far less.


  16. - blue dog dem - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 3:33 pm:

    Chicago20. But I always thought Democrats watched out for the poor and middle clases? Are Illinois Dems a different sub-species?


  17. - Amalia - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 3:40 pm:

    property taxes are the result of the needs/dollars needed of the various governments for a particular homeowner as gathered by the assessor of the county for all the governments. want to lower taxes? figure out how to do a better job of paying for what you need/ Want to actually pay for what is needed? you have to pay taxes.

    percentage and actual dollars can be perceived very differently. what does the money fund? what does a municipality need? Based on what I know of the South Suburbs, there is some
    spectacularly bad management in effect. they have lower house prices. they will need a higher percentage to get the dollars needed. many things cost the same regardless of the location. fewer federal and state resources are available to help.


  18. - Chicago 20 - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 3:42 pm:

    Dog I can remember when Republicans cared.


  19. - City Zen - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 4:14 pm:

    ==The biggest item on most property tax bills is the school district, usually anywhere from 60% to 90% of the total. Until you address the lack of State funding to the school districts, everything else is just nibbling around the edges.==

    Less than 30% of Ford Heights SD 169’s education funding comes from property taxes. In fact, they get more from the feds than local sources. I doubt school funding accounts for that much of their property tax bill. Then again, they are only a 2 school district, so I’d imagine a lot of overhead might be at play here too.

    http://www.fordheights169.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Fiscal-Year-2016-2017-Budget.pdf


  20. - City Zen - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 4:21 pm:

    ==Over 70 percent of the average property tax bill goes to schools. The State needs to come up with a better way to fund public education.==

    Less than 20% of Park Forest SD 163’s educational funding comes from property taxes. What’s a fair % that locals should pay to educate their children? Zero? If zero, would their property tax burden be reduced 70% as a result?

    http://www.sd163.com/cms/lib010/IL01905147/Centricity/Domain/72/FY%202017%20Final%20Budget%20in%20State%20Form%20-%20signed.pdf


  21. - RNUG - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 4:27 pm:

    -City Zen-,

    Admittedly this is downstate, not in one of the collars, but I just pulled out my three property tax bills. Between the K-12 and community college, 68%, 68%, and 72% go just to the school districts.


  22. - RNUG - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 4:29 pm:

    == Less than 20% of Park Forest SD 163’s educational funding comes from property taxes. ==

    And what percentage is it of your property tax bill?


  23. - cdog - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 4:33 pm:

    Madigan needs to cut a deal where he gets something–the progressive income tax.

    He tried it last year but didn’t play his cards right.

    Give Rauner the 4 yr freeze in exchange for the ballot language to change the constitution from a flat tax, to a progressive tax.

    Structure the new tax brackets to bring in enough money to significantly reduce the dependence on property tax for education.

    If Madigan is truly for the middle class, like he repeats in his tiresome mantra, he would do this with trumpets for all to hear.

    Will he have integrity and courage, or continue to be disingenuous?


  24. - Ron - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 4:45 pm:

    “Will he have integrity and courage, or continue to be disingenuous?”

    Is that a serious question?


  25. - cdog - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 4:49 pm:

    I took a Zillow address, that is in the Park Forest SD163, to the Cook Co Property Tax Portal.

    Way different than the way the taxes are calculated in my downstate county.

    I could not find any breakdown of the levies to audit the composition of the $5500 tax bill.

    Seems weird, has to be there….?


  26. - Sideline Watcher - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 6:19 pm:

    “Madigan needs to cut a deal where he gets something–the progressive income tax. He tried it last year but didn’t play his cards right. Give Rauner the 4 yr freeze in exchange for the ballot language to change the constitution from a flat tax, to a progressive tax. Structure the new tax brackets to bring in enough money to significantly reduce the dependence on property tax for education. If Madigan is truly for the middle class, like he repeats in his tiresome mantra, he would do this with trumpets for all to hear.”

    CDog for the win!!! But it will never happen. LOL!


  27. - City Zen - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 7:45 pm:

    ==And what percentage is it of your property tax bill?==

    It’s between 60-70%, but unlike Ford Heights and Park Forest, my school districts get most of their funding from property taxes.

    If the state instead picked up that 20% of Park Forest’s local funding so that PF residents didn’t pay one dime towards education, would their property tax burden go down from 35% to 2%? Even if it’s 10%, it’s still more than quadruple the avg of every other town in America. The problem extends beyond school funding.


  28. - Hit or Miss - Monday, Jun 19, 17 @ 9:50 pm:

    Even with a large increase in the tax rate residents of Chicago have a very low tax rate. It is now the 8th lowest in the county. Considering their poor financial condition and large debt, another major increase in their property tax rate needs to be seriously considered.


  29. - Anonymoose - Tuesday, Jun 20, 17 @ 11:54 am:

    Property taxes in Chicago are cheap. Rockford is three times as much for the same assessed value of property.


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