Cook County Record

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Tax bills heading up for Chicago property owners

By Mike Helenthal | Jun 27, 2016

CHICAGO –  Chicago residents are already grumbling about the likelihood of paying significantly higher property taxes this year, and the bills haven’t even been sent out yet.

Expect the chorus of grumbles to get louder when the bills come due Aug. 1, tax attorney Ares Dalianis said. 

“I think there’s going to be a pretty big buzz among taxpayers when the bill hits the mailboxes,” said Dalianis , a partner at the Chicago-based Franczek Radelet law firm.

Cook County Clerk David Orr recently released the final 2015 property tax rates for Cook County residents, showing an average jump of 12.8 percent for Chicago residents, but only a 2 percent raise for residents in the North and South suburbs.

Homeowners in Chicago can expect to see an increase of more than $400 in residential property tax bills. In the north and south, the amount will go up just slightly over $100.

“Individual tax bills will vary, but property taxes are generally going up,”  Orr’s office said in a press release. “How much they change primarily depends on whether you live in the City of Chicago or in the suburbs.”

Orr said the average commercial/industrial property tax bill in Chicago would increase approximately 10 percent.

“I think Chicago bills will be higher because of the reassessment and larger levies,” Dalianis said.

Last year the city’s property was reassessed, leading to a more than 9 percent increase in the city’s equalized assessed valuation and a 3.5 percent increase for the county overall. The southern part of the county was reassessed in 2014. The northern suburbs will be reassessed later this year.

Taxable values in the north and south suburbs, meanwhile, decreased by an average of 2.5 percent, attributed to a 2 percent drop in the overall EAV..

Home rule districts, debt obligations, other special purpose funds, and value derived from new property and terminated Tax Increment Financing Districts are exempt from the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law.

Orr’s release said part of the reason for the higher tax burden for residents of the city of Chicago, which is a home rule government, is that the city council last year passed a property tax increase of more than $300 million over the 2014 levy to cover pension obligations.

It also said that 2015 was the first year that taxes for Cook County taxing districts exceeded $13 billion.

Dalianis said rates would also vary by city due to individual referendums, such as school districts and other taxing bodies seeking revenue.

“If there’s a reassessment, that will have an effect on a tax bill,” he said. “If there’s a local referendum, that will have an effect as well.”

He said he wouldn’t be surprised if more taxpayers took their angst out on rising taxes in similar fashion to two people from northwest suburban McHenry County.

According to the Chicago Tribune, those taxpayers this year have brought in low denomination cash to pay their property tax bills, forcing officials to count it by hand.

“That’s a new one to me, but people who are frustrated will find a way to get their point across,"  Dalianis said.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this article misspelled attorney Ares Dalianis' last name. 

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Chicago Tribune City of Chicago Cook County Franczek Radelet P.C.