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DESPITE RECENT CHICAGO-AREA HOUSING WOES, Latest Cook County Property Taxes To Stay High!


Extreme levels of housing inventory for sale.  Falling property values.  Many homeowners close to foreclosure.

These developments would seem to point to lowered property taxes here in Chicago and in Surrounding Cook County Suburbs.  Those who expect a decrease in their tax bills, however, may be in for an unpleasant surprise as property tax rates hit mailboxes beginning later this month.

This warning came as Cook County Clerk David Orr posted tax rates used to calculate individual real estate tax bills for properties all over the City of Chicago and across Cook County.  Payment is due Monday, November 3rd.

Despite a 5% increase in the State of Illinois Equalization Factor as it applies to Cook County, many local municipalities, including Chicago, have certain tax rates that have declined.  However, certain calculation factors will actually result in a HIGHER TOTAL BILL for many homeowners - despite the recent drop-off in many home values.


Assessed values in Cook County are calculated on a triennial cycle.  The City of Chicago was re-assessed during 2006, the Northern Cook County Suburbs, 2007, and the Southern and Western Suburbs - 2008.

In the City of Chicago, 2007 Property Tax Bills, now coming due, will be based on home values as of January 1, 2006 - before the real estate and mortgage slowdown began.  Further, those in Chicago will not get as much benefit from the 7% cap in assessed values for 2007 taxes as they did for 2006 bills, due last year.

Homeowners in the Northern Suburbs of Chicago, and still in Cook County, will see their real estate tax bills based on their property value as of January 1, 2007 - also before average home values began to fall here.  Assessment increases will vary from roughly 13% in northwest suburban Schaumburg Township, to 25% in New Trier Township, north of Chicago, along Lake Michigan.  These property owners will get a bit of a break, however, as they will enjoy more savings from the 7% assessed value cap, as compared to Chicago residents.

Those owning real estate in the Southern and Western Cook County Suburbs of Chicago will be not see assessed value increases this time around, as these townships and suburbs will not be re-assessed until the 2008 tax bills are due, in 2009.  Homeowners here might see more immediate tax relief, as their new assessed property values will reflect the latest, falling home price trends.  As with the City of Chicago, however, the tax savings from the IL-Mandated 7% Assessment Cap will be reduced this year.

In general, however, property owners in Chicago may have a comparatively smaller tax bite this year than homeowners in Suburban Cook County, as well as surrounding counties in the Chicago Metro Area.  According to a study released this week by the Civic Federation of Chicago, homeowners in the city typically pay lower tax rates for similar property than their neighbors in the suburbs. 

Laurence Msall, President of the Civic Federation, says "Homeowners in the City of Chicago actually have a relatively low effective tax rate, due to the value of industrial and commercial property around (them)."

See today's Chicago Tribune for coverage by Hal Dardick.  This Press Release today from Cook County Clerk Orr explains the new tax rates - although the calculations involved are very complicated.  Here is a link to the entire 2007 Cook County Tax Rate Schedule.


Posted: Thursday, September 18, 2008 7:12 PM by Dean's Team


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