Property taxes going up in Cook County suburbs

  • The average Wheeling homeowner will see an increase of 11.3 percent in what he or she pays to the village, thanks to a tax hike aimed at staving off more deficit spending.

    The average Wheeling homeowner will see an increase of 11.3 percent in what he or she pays to the village, thanks to a tax hike aimed at staving off more deficit spending. Daily Herald File Photo

 
 
Updated 6/14/2016 4:15 PM

The average homeowner in north and northwest suburban Cook County will see property taxes increase by $110 in the coming year, according to data released by Cook County Clerk David Orr's office Monday.

The average tax bill for those suburban homeowners comes in at $6,685, up from $6,575 last year, according to Orr's figures. That's despite the taxable value of homes in the county's north and northwest suburban suburbs dropping on average 2.3 percent this year thanks to the way the Illinois Department of Revenue calculates property tax rates in Cook County. The homes' average taxable value went from $71,267 last year to $69,781 this year, but most tax rates rose along with the amount of tax revenue being sought, which drives up property taxes for most residents.

 

Tax bills will start arriving in mailboxes within the coming days and payments are due Aug. 1.

Homeowners in Wheeling can expect the largest bump with property taxes paid to the village rising 11.3 percent from last year. The average homeowner in Wheeling could pay as much as $110 more than last year, Orr's figures show. That's due to a property tax hike initiated by the village board, Wheeling officials said. Since the Great Recession in 2008, Wheeling has operated at a deficit and drawn down its reserves by 30 percent during that time, finance officials said. The village board elected to exercise it's home-rule authority and raise taxes in lieu of taking more out of reserves.

Cook County residents in Elgin can also expect an average increase of 11 percent that city officials said was due to wage increases, debt payments and mandated pension obligations. The average Elgin homeowner paid $1,559 last year to the city alone and is on the hook for a $1,731 tab this year, according to Orr's office.

Last year, Chicago properties were reassessed and increased in value by 9.3 percent, which helped shift some of the taxing burden for countywide agencies from suburban taxpayers. The year before, south suburban properties were reassessed and saw a 3.2 percent decline in overall value, which shifted those costs to other parts of the county. North and northwest suburban properties are being reassessed for next year's tax bills.

The average homeowner will be paying less to the county and forest preserve district, according to Orr's office. Homeowners in Bartlett, Community Unit District 300, Barrington Hills, Bensenville, East Dundee and Rosemont Elementary District 78 might also pay less to those taxing bodies in the coming year.

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Most towns and other taxing bodies are limited to how much tax revenue can grow from one year to the next by law. Property tax revenue can only increase by the rate of inflation or 5 percent, whichever is lowest. Only towns with home-rule authority or taxing agencies whose voters approved a tax hike can exceed those limits.

While suburban homeowners saw modest property tax increases on average, Chicago property owners were tagged with an average 12.8 percent increase in property taxes due to a rate increase to help cover public pension costs.

All told, data from Orr's office showed property values increased 3.5 percent throughout the county and the county's 1,400-plus taxing bodies are due more than $13 billion combined for the first time in history. Last year, the total tax bill for all agencies was a little more than $12.4 billion.

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