Nov 16, 2022 - News

Tax bill sticker shock hits Chicago

Photo of a row of houses.

Homes in a Chicago neighborhood. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Cook County Treasurer's office yesterday posted the long-awaited property tax bills for city homeowners.

  • And it wasn't pretty.

Why it matters: After a three-month delay and ugly politics, many local homeowners will pay more taxes — and, in some cases, way more.

By the numbers: We analyzed bills in selected neighborhoods, including:

  • West Loop: Justin's property tax went up 22% year over year.
  • Rogers Park: One homeowner tells Axios their taxes went up 32%.
  • Lakeview: Monica's property tax jumped 71% (!!).

You can check yours here.

Context: Newly re-elected Cook County Assessor Kaegi ran on shifting the tax burden to downtown commercial business owners after years of sweet deals and discounts handed down by predecessor Joseph Berrios.

  • This bill, the second installment of the 2021 property taxes, is the first for Chicago homeowners using Kaegi's new formula.
  • Tax bills were reportedly delayed by a software problem, but some Republicans are arguing the election was the real reason for the delay.

Reality check: Kaegi reassessed Chicago properties last year, but told Axios the increases would not necessarily be reflected in the final tax bill.

The intrigue: On Monday, Kaegi put out a scathing report blaming the Cook County Board of Review for changing his tax assessments, flipping the burden to homeowners instead of downtown businesses.

  • The Board of Review has the power to adjust assessments.

What they're saying: "Because the final assessed values set by the Board of Review increased the share of assessed value for homeowners (due, in part, to reductions of large commercial properties downtown), tax bills for many homeowners appear likely to increase or stay flat," Kaegi wrote in the report.

💭 Justin's thought bubble: Holding the bill because of an election seemed an absurd claim.

  • But looking at these astronomical increases, it's hard not to believe that politics weaved its way into this process … again.

What's next: Tax bills are due by year-end.

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