Oct 31, 2023 - News

Property tax hike coming for Cook County

Two sets of a doors with a sign above that reads: Maria Pappas, Cook County Treasurer

The Cook County Treasurer's office. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Property taxes across Cook County rose 5.4% for 2022, with homeowners shouldering the majority of the increase.

Why it matters: Many people had expected commercial property owners to take on more of the tax burden.

What's happening: Property tax bills, a major expense for most homeowners, should be hitting mailboxes this week.

Zoom in: The amount to be paid by all Cook County homeowners rose by $599.1 million — about two-thirds of the overall increase, according to a new analysis by Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas' office.

  • Commercial owners are picking up about a third of the increase, the analysis said.

👀 The intrigue: The median residential bill in the north and northwest suburbs rose by 15.7% — the largest increase in at least 30 years.

What they're saying: A spokesperson for the Cook County Assessor's office said decisions by the County's Board of Review contributed to the bigger hit to homeowner bills: Successful appeals dropped non-residential taxes by 20% and residential by only 2%.

  • "Because growth in residential properties outpaced non-residential assessed values, this shifted who pays what share of property taxes," the spokesperson tells Axios.

🧠 Be smart: It's not just changes in building values that affect property taxes.

  • The Treasurer's report found that levies for school districts were the primary driver of the latest increases.
  • TIFs and the recent "recapture" law that lets taxing bodies recoup money lost when people successfully appealed their bills the previous year also contributed to the increases.

Between the lines: "Out of 940 units of government in Cook County, 676 increased their levies," treasurer Maria Pappas tells Axios. "Read your bill to see where the monies go."

What's next: Payments on the new bills are due Dec. 1.

  • The assessor divides the county into three parts — the city, northern burbs and southern burbs — and reassesses each every three years. Next year they take on the suburbs south of North Avenue.
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