Treasurer’s Study Shows the 20-Year Climb of Cook County Property Tax Bills
If you feel like your property taxes have been rising out of proportion to your income or the rise in the cost of living, a study by Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas shows you are probably right.
The study shows that the amount of property taxes billed throughout Cook County have increased 99% since 2000: from $7.85 billion in 2000 to $15.58 billion last year.
The jump was even bigger in the city of Chicago, according to the report, which shows property taxes climbing from $3.25 billion to $6.99 billion over the same time period, an increase of 115%. Suburban Cook County tax bills went from $4.59 billion to $8.59 billion, an increase of 87%.
By comparison, average wages increased 57% in Cook County and the Cost of Living increased by 36.3% over the same period, the study says, citing the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Homeowners saw bigger increases than commercial property owners. Total taxes billed on Chicago residential properties rose by 164% while Chicago commercial property bills rose 81%. In suburban Cook County, residential properties jumped 116% while commercial property tax bills rose 53%.
Hundreds of Taxing Districts Contribute to Increases
With 558 individual taxing districts throughout Cook County, including 82 home rule taxing districts that do not need voter approval to increase property taxes, property tax bill increases are driven by budget requests across a wide variety of public agencies, from cities and villages to school districts, fire protection districts, library and park districts.
The report includes a link that enables Cook County property owners to view the 20-year tax bill history of their own property as well. Click here to find your property’s tax history.
“Homeowners and business owners in Cook County are overburdened by property taxes, a trend that began more than two decades ago and is reaching a crisis today because of the pandemic,” the study’s authors write in their summary. “No local government office hears daily tales of financial woe more than the Cook County Treasurer’s Office, where taxpayers, especially seniors, pour out their hearts to staff along with their list of unpaid bills for property taxes, utilities and medical care.”
How Can You Be Sure Your Property Tax Bill is Fair?
While many aspects of your rising property bill may be out of your control, one way you may be paying more than your fair share is to overlook your ability to appeal the amount of your assessment twice every year.
An appeal means your assessment is reviewed against comparable properties to ensure that it is fair. At Kensington, we have decades of experience and a proprietary algorithm for identifying the comparable properties that create the highest likelihood of reducing your tax bill and we have saved Cook County taxpayers millions of dollars with our deep expertise in obtaining reductions.
Call today or click on the link below for a free, no-obligation analysis of your tax bill. Our clients pay nothing unless they win.