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Chicago Homeowners Face 10 Percent Average Property Tax Hike This Year

By DNAinfo Staff | June 13, 2017 2:34pm | Updated on June 16, 2017 11:29am
 A hike in levies from the Chicago Board of Education and the City of Chicago government account for the bulk of the property tax increase, Cook County Clerk David Orr said.
A hike in levies from the Chicago Board of Education and the City of Chicago government account for the bulk of the property tax increase, Cook County Clerk David Orr said.
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CHICAGO — Homeowners in Chicago will see a property tax hike of about 10 percent this year, according to an analysis by Cook County Clerk David Orr.

Businesses will see an average hike of 9.3 percent, according to the analysis.

The hikes are "due in large part to increased levies from the Chicago Board of Education and the City of Chicago itself," the analysis said.

"The City of Chicago increased its levy by $109 million this year as part of a planned four-year property tax increase which began last year.  Additionally, the state Legislature approved a $272 million CPS levy increase to pay for teachers’ pensions which took effect this year," according to the Orr report.

"As a result, homeowners in the city of Chicago should expect to see their tax bills increase 10.0 percent on average," the analysis said.

Tax bills are due Aug. 1.

The average single-family home tax bill in the city will be $3,996.34, up $363.15. The average commercial property tax bill will be $13,519.48, the analysis said.

Individual tax bills vary based on property values and tax rates. Orr's office used a home or condo with a market value of $224,500 in Chicago. The commercial estimate was based on a property worth $270,000.

North suburban Cook County homeowners will see their property tax bills go up 6.5 percent on average, and south suburban homeowners will see an average increase of 3.9 percent.

Orr is quoted in the report saying that "Property taxes are inherently regressive and disproportionately impact people in poorer regions," adding "the overreliance on this mechanism of funding local government compounds existing inequities."

Orr, a Democrat, backs efforts to "adopt a fair income tax" on the state level that would allow less reliance on property taxes.

Gov. Bruce Rauner wants a freeze on property taxes, though many local municipalities and school districts fear that revenue eventually would be insufficient to pay bills.

Steven Yaffe, a spokesman for the state Republican party, was quoted by Crain's Chicago Business columnist Greg Hinz saying the increases show that the state's property tax system is "broken and corrupt" and that it only benefits "politicians and wealthy insiders."

He blamed "the Chicago political machine," evidently referring to politicians such as House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke, whose firms handle property tax appeals.

A recent Tribune series concluded that assessments are so flawed that people living in poorer areas tend to pay more in taxes as a percentage of their home’s value than residents in more affluent communities.