THE LOOP — Chicago homeowners, get ready for an almost 3 percent increase in your property taxes.
And Cook County Clerk David Orr says it could've been worse.
Orr's office announced Thursday that Chicago homeowners could expect a 2.8 percent increase in their property taxes for the 2014 tax year, with second-installment bills going out July 1 and due Aug. 3.
According to the clerk's office, that translates into a $89.44 increase for the average Chicago homeowner.
The city is the hardest-hit of the county's three property-tax districts. According to Orr, north suburban homeowners will see a 2.4 percent increase, while south-suburban homeowners see a 1 percent reduction thanks to decreasing home values.
Even so, the overall equalized assessed value of Cook County properties increased 1.8 percent, the first increase since 2009 and the Great Recession.
Orr pointed to the Chicago Board of Education as a prime culprit for the tax increase, with a levy increased by $86 million.
Yet that was minimized by the expiration of the city's second-most-profitable Tax Increment Finance district, the Near South district along the lake south of Congress Parkway. According to Orr, that TIF district collected $638 million over its lifetime, and its retirement pumped almost $1 billion back into tax coffers.
Orr's office estimated that of the $86 million increase in the education levy, $35 million came directly from the retirement of that TIF district.
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