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LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG - CHICAGO REAL ESTATE TAX BILLS ARRIVE – HOW MUCH FOR YOUR DOG HOUSE?

THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG!

Buddy At His Laptop!Being a Little White Dog, and only 2 ½ years old, I haven't been at this Chicago Real Estate Tax game for very long!  Usually, however, you know that crisp Fall day when the bills hit humans' mailboxes.  On the evening news, you usually see stories of several elderly Chicago homeowners clutching at their chests while opening their mail.

"Too Much, Too Much," they all say, while reminiscing about annual Chicago real estate tax bills of only a few hundred dollars, "Back in the Day!".

When the tax bills arrived to many Chicagoans earlier this week, however, most were pleasantly surprised.  The Cook County Assessor figures that three out of four homeowners in Chicago will actually see a DECREASE on their Second Installment, 2006 bill!  (As most of you dogs know, real estate taxes in Cook County, which includes Chicago IL and many suburbs, are calculated one year IN ARREARS - we pay real estate taxes for 2006 in 2007, and so on).

To be sure, the savings will be modest - about $100 per year for many taxpayers, more for some fortunate two-pawed souls!  But the reductions are expected to be short-lived!

Reviewing an article in the October 23rd edition of the Chicago Tribune, written by Staff Reporter Mickey Ciokajlo,  the reason for this year's real estate tax drop on the 7% Assessment Cap, just extended by the Illinois Legislature in Springfield.

On Monday, October 22nd, Cook County Clerk David Orr finally released the 2006 tax rates for 1,200 distinct taxing authorities within the county.  That step allowed Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas to print and mail the bills to thousands of Chicago homeowners, human and canine alike.

Real estate taxes are due on December 3rd, and can be paid either online (small convenience charge applies), at the Cook County Building in Downtown Chicago or at one of it's branch offices in selected suburbs, or at most Chase Bank Locations in the Chicago Metropolitan Area.  This December due date is the latest real estate tax deadline in recent Cook County history, and was caused by continuing debate on the extension of the Assessment Cap.

Although the current reduced taxes are welcome by all who have to pay them, experts anticipate a rise in taxes next year - perhaps as much as $500 for many Chicago homeowners.  This figure does not include Mayor Richard Daley's proposed Chicago tax increase for next year, totaling $108 Million!

This trend is not without precedent.  When the 7% Assessment Cap first took affect three years ago, nearly 8 out of ten Chicago homeowners saw their taxes decrease immediately after the change.  They then crept back up for the ensuing two years,

The Assessor's Office explains the reason - the average tax rate falls as the value of land across Chicago increases.  Homeowners protected by the Assessment Cap see reductions in their homes taxable value, and the bills fall.

As a result of the extension of the cap, the City of Chicago General Real Estate Tax Rate decreased to 5.302%, from 5.981% last year.  Check here to check tax rates for Suburban Chicago Communities within Cook County.

Cook County Assessor James Houlihan explained the extended Real Estate Tax Cap actually works as an expanded Homeowners Exemption.  It limits the taxable value of the home by, in effect, increasing the homes Homeowner Exemption by a corresponding amount.    There are limits to this protection, however.

The old law allowed a $20,000 flat maximum exemption for each year in the triennial tax reassessment period.  The extension allows for a $30,000 the first year, $26,000 the second, and $20,000 in the third and final year.

Assessor Houlihan provides the following estimates of how individual real estate tax bills will be affected next year - "Slightly more than half of Chicago homeowners will see their bills increase by no more than $200, another 16% will see increases next year of between $200 and $500, and everyone else will receive jumps of $500 to $1,000, or possibly more."

Those homeowners that see the highest increases have seen their property values out pace the 7% Cap.

Chicago Mayor Daley called the extended Tax Assessment Cap, adopted by the Cook County Board of Commissioners on October 22nd, "short-term relief."  He suggested the legislation "may need to be amended next year to provide more relief in years two and three of the law."


The Tax Assessment Cap has no shortage of detractors.  Many business people, in particular, have complained that the Assessment Cap for residential properties shifts unfair tax burden to those who own commercial and investment property.

How were your Real Estate Taxes affected this year?  Call, email, or bark loudly to let us know!

YOUR ACE REPORTER ON FOUR PAWS,

BUDDY HOLLY MOSS

Posted: Thursday, November 08, 2007 6:18 PM by Dean's Team
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Comments

BlogChicagoHomes.com said:

Following up on Lil' Buddy's Blog from Thursday, November 8th , here is a summary of the latest,

# November 9, 2007 1:29 PM
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