High Cost of Local Government Keeps Property Taxes High
More than 140 Illinois local government employees earned more than the governor, according to an Open The Books analysis of 2017 Illinois local government payrolls.
From park district bosses who earn $239,000 a year to 89 small town and village administrators paid in excess of $190,000 a year – more than any governor in the United States – the organization identified a wide list of Illinois public employees whose compensation packages are generous, to say the least.
This is yet another reason why property taxes continue to increase, with appealing them as your only source of relief.
“Public service is literally defined as ‘serving the people,’” Adam Andrzejewski, CEO and founder of OpenTheBooks.com, wrote in a March 3 Forbes column describing the findings. “Today, however, our public servants have figured out how to serve themselves, gaming the system to line their pockets. Until taxpayers demand change, the gravy train will continue to roll.”
Cook County and Chicago payrolls figure prominently in the organization’s list of the 15 largest public pay and pension systems in Illinois, published in July 2017.
Property Tax Relief: Keeping Your Assessment Fair
The public payroll is one of many pressures driving property taxes higher. In Chicago, school and other pension obligations have driven millions of dollars in tax increases. If your property is assessed at a higher value than it should be, you’re going to pay more than your fair share to help close the gaps.
It’s critical to pay attention to your property tax bills and to deadlines for appealing your assessment, which vary depending on what township you live in.
If you don’t appeal, you can end up paying too much, meaning you’re not only on the hook for all of those highly paid water-park-airport-transit-city-and-county employees – you’re also underwriting the savings of all the other property owners who do appeal.
Cook County Homeowners Feeling the Pinch
Property owners across the state are feeling the pinch, and Cook County residents are facing some of the worst of it.
Combined with a tax assessment system that independent reports say is flawed in favor of high-value homes and commercial properties, the average homeowner is at great risk of paying taxes on an assessed value that is too high.
To ensure you’re not paying more than your fair share, you must appeal your property taxes with the Cook County Assessor and Board of Review by your township’s deadline. You must also be sure that you have applied for all exemptions for which you are eligible
Failing to Appeal Could Cost You Thousands
Not appealing your assessed value can cost you thousands of dollars, year after year, as your tax rate is multiplied against a value that could be significantly lower following an appeal.
Appealing a second time to the Board of Review can produce additional savings. If this seems like a lot of work, you don’t have to do it on your own. At Kensington Research and Recovery, we are experts helping Cook County homeowners save thousands of dollars in property taxes.
Contact us for a free, no-obligation review of your tax situation. If we can’t identify an argument for significant savings, we won’t assist with your appeal. And you pay nothing unless we help you win.
Don’t let the high cost of public employee salaries inflate your tax bill, while other properties are being assessed at far less than their market value.