Average property tax bill to rise nearly 1.8 percent in DuPage

DuPage homeowners can expect to pay higher property taxes to school districts and other local governments as land values countywide continue to rebound.

The average tax rate for the county's 379 taxing districts dropped last year by 4.94 percent. At the same time, though, the overall value of land in DuPage - the other half of the tax equation - increased 6.7 percent, to roughly $36.1 billion.

As a result, county property owners are going to pay an average 1.76 percent more on their tax bills this year, which are due in equal installments in June and September.

County Clerk Paul Hinds on Tuesday released the tentative tax rates for DuPage's taxing districts, including 173 special service areas.

The rates help determine the amount of taxes property owners will pay.

Hinds said the overall value of land in the county went up for a second consecutive year in 2016 because the housing market is rebounding. Previously, it had dropped each year from 2009 to 2014.

How much assessed property values jumped in 2016 depends on the area. On average, they increased from 5.86 percent in Naperville Township to 9.56 percent in Winfield Township

"They are rebounding back to where they were before we lost a lot of value in the housing," Hinds said.

The total assessed value of land in DuPage went from $33.9 billion in 2015 to $36.17 billion in 2016. The most recent value includes more than $248 million in new construction.

While the value went up, the number of developed parcels in DuPage only increased slightly last year, from 335,575 to 335,864.

"We are running out of room to grow," Hinds said. "Vacant farmland is just not there anymore."

Still, he said, multistory condominium buildings are being constructed in some downtown areas.

Local governmental entities, including municipalities and school districts, make requests for tax dollars through their annual levies.

Since 1991, a state-imposed property tax cap limits most of those governments to levy increases of 5 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower.

The consumer price index dropped from 0.8 percent in 2015 to 0.7 percent in 2016. It's expected to climb to 2.1 percent this year, county officials said.

Local government entities have until Friday to lower their rates by abating taxes, but county officials are expecting minimal changes to the tentative rates released on Tuesday.

Residents can expect their property tax bills to arrive around May. Payments are due June 1 and Sept. 1.

School districts take 73.20 percent of the tax bill in DuPage. Municipalities get 9.83 percent of the property tax money while other the taxing bodies divvy up the rest.

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