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Chicago Area Property Taxes Skyrocket

by Bob Tivnan, Chicago, November 2014

 

Property tax bills for Chicago area businesses increased dramatically in the ten-year period from 2003 through 2012, according to the most recent Civic Federation effective property tax rate study for selected municipalities in Northeastern Illinois.

 

The report measures how much owners pay in taxes relative to the market value of their property through an effective tax rate percentage calculation. This approach provides an appleā€“to-apples comparison of the tax burden across communities and over time. The system is complicated by different tax levels for different types of properties, various tax exemptions, and a state-imposed equalization multiplier in Cook County.

 

In Chicago, the effective property tax rate for commercial properties increased by nearly 62% between 2003 and 2012. During the same period, the industrial effective tax rate went up more than 84%. Other Cook County communities experienced similar rate hikes (see chart on right).

 

While the results are not yet available for tax year 2013, officials believe effective tax rates will continue to increase because tax levies are rising faster than property values. Therefore, this situation requires timely professional assessment reviews and appeals in order to control the future real estate tax expense on commercial and industrial properties over the next several years.

Effective Property Tax Rate Increases from 2003 to 2012

 

Chicago

61.7%

84.1%

Elk Grove Village

35.2%

29.7%

Arlington Heights

16.5%

11.8%

Glenview

15.2%

10.6%

Evanston

4.1%

-0.1%

Schaumburg

31.9%

26.5%

Barrington

19.0%

26.5%

Elgin

22.2%

17.3%

Source: The Civic Federation