Where Do Cook County Property Taxes Go?
The second installment of property tax bills are out now. Where does your money go?
Cook County Property Taxes from 2000-2010
According to findings by The Heartland Institute, Cook County property tax collections rose from $7.89 to $11.69 billion (a 48% increase) from 2000 to 2010, which is twice the rate of inflation during that period. Property taxes levied by Cook County government remained flat, so here’s where the increases came from:
- Suburban municipalities: 75% property tax increase
- Taxing agencies located within the City of Chicago: 44% property tax increase
- Metropolitan Water Reclamation District: 29% property tax increase
- School districts: 58% property tax increase with 27 more than doubling their levies
Cook County Property Taxes Today
Each property tax installment bill identifies exactly where your property taxes go. See an example Cook County property tax bill here.
Here’s a link to the Cook County Treasurer’s website that allows you to see specific taxing districts.
Cook County Property Taxes in 2015 & Beyond
According to The Civic Federation, here’s what 2015’s property taxes are expected to pay for in 2015 (you will receive these bills in 2016):
- City of Chicago – $862.9 million: 45% for debt service, 41% for pensions, 9% for the Chicago Public Library and 4% for City Colleges debt service
- Chicago Public Schools – $2.2 billion: 93% for the general fund, 5% for the Workers and Unemployment Compensation Tort Immunity Fund, and 2% for Public Building Commission lease and debt service payments
- Cook County – $741.6 million: 30% for the Bond and Interest Fund, 26% for The Public Safety Fund, 21% for the Health Enterprise Fund, 18% for the Pension Fund, and 4% for Corporate and Election Funds
Chicago Asking for More
According to an article in Crain’s, City of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to request an additional $328.6 million to fund the police and firefighter pension fund. A decrease from the state mandated contribution of $550 million. Even with the decreased contribution, 25-72% of this cost is expected to come from property tax increases. This equates to a 30% increase in your property tax bill starting next year.
How to Minimize Your Property Tax Payments
If you want to avoid paying more than you have to and to ensure a fair assessment of your home’s value, you’ll want to appeal your property taxes taxes with both the Cook County Assessor’s office when your township’s appeal window is open as well as later in the year with the Cook County Board of Review.