CITY HALL — The so-called doomsday tax hike being considered by the City Council would most likely be felt by homeowners with next summer's second-installment property-tax bills, according to Cook County officials.
According to state law and Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, who sends out the bills, the first installment of the 2015 property taxes would be due March 1 of next year, and would be set at 55 percent of this year's overall bill. The second installment, which usually comes due in August, is sometimes smaller, because property taxes rarely rise 10 percent in a year, but that's where the impact of the increase would be felt.
According to figures provided by Cook County Clerk David Orr's office, a typical tax bill for a $250,000 Chicago house was $4,162 this year, which technically is considered to be for the 2014 tax year. It's estimated to rise to $4,504 for the 2015 tax year, with the increases proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in his budget address this week, with payments due next year.
That's about an 8 percent increase overall. So after the first-installment bill goes out for $2,289, or 55 percent of this year's total payments, it would still need to make up an additional 3 percent, so the second installment figures to be close to the same, at an estimated $2,215.
Orr's office counsels, however, that all these are estimates, and much remains in play as the City Council considers the tax hike, an additional $45 million Chicago Public Schools tax levy and whether to offer an expanded homeowner exemption through the General Assembly or direct rebates to low-income homeowners and seniors.
What's more, the city faces a double whammy, as properties within the city limits were due to be reassessed this year by Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios in the triennial process dividing the county into three districts: city, north suburban and south suburban.
Orr spokeswoman Courtney Greve said Wednesday that the reassessment has gotten lost in all the dread over the pension-fueled tax increase, "but it could deliver another blow."
In any case, when it's all figured out, the correction will come with the second-installment tax bills next year.
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