Appraising Illinois’ Status as the State with the Second Highest Rate
Think your property taxes are high? How about Hawaii? The property taxes in Hawaii have got to be through the roof, right? Sorry; they’re only about 1/8th as high as ours in the paradise of Illinois (Go Bears, go Cubs, go Hawks, go home all competing teams). Actually, according to reliable sources in the appraisal world that we happily live in at Pahroo, Illinois now has the second highest property taxes in the nation. This GROSS, but reliable news was released by the Urban Brookings Tax Policy Center as reported by Dennis Rodkin of Chicago Magazine online (Jan -2014).
What’s moving us up on the “Bad Stats” list? According to Rodkin (and as any super-sharp Chicago realtor or real estate appraiser will verify) that while home values are up slightly in our area, they’re not keeping pace with our taxing bodies’ hearty appetites to put more and more taxes on the plate of the homeowner (as in “home-moaner”). Rodkin quotes taxing authorities such as Brian Costin, director of government reform for the Illinois Policy Institute. Costin actually predicts that Illinois is on its way to eclipsing New Jersey on property tax rates.
As Costin explains, “Illinois home values fell farther and are improving more slowly than those in many other states. The latest Case-Shiller index data, which came out on New Year’s Eve,” (Happy New Year!), “showed that while home values in the nation’s ten major cities have recovered (on average) to June 2004 levels, they’re only back to February 2003 levels in Chicago. At the same time,” Costin says, “most local taxing bodies do the maximum increase they can do under the law each year.” Lombard and Lake County are notable exceptions and he notes that both have reduced their rates.
Costin contends (though not in these words) that the BADder news is that, “Our property taxes have gotten so high that it’s having a negative effect on our housing market.” He points to reduced demand, as evidenced by a rising number of people leaving the state.” Moving to Indiana is an option, where property tax rates are less than half those in Illinois, and the cost to buy a house is much lower, as well. Of course, there’s Hawaii where you may say aloha to lower property taxes, but adios to a market with jobs that are abbondanza.
THE GOOD NEWS, (yes there is good news) is that you can fight city hall and the Cook County Assessor’s office to a certain extent. Stay tuned for our next appealing article on how to appeal and/or lower your property taxes and tell us mahalo.
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