Businesses and minorities hardest hit by latest tax bills, county report says


Soon tax bills for Cook County landowners will take a bigger chunk of county businesses and many suburban blacks and Latinos, according to a new analysis.

The report by the office of Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas concludes that commercial and industrial property across Cook County will total $ 7 billion in billings this year, up 6.2% from 2020. Homeowners pay a total of 1.3% more, or $ 8.9. billion, he said.

But residences in many suburbs pay much higher bills, often due to two factors: their property has been reassessed for tax purposes and their local governments have increased their tax levies, the amount demanded from business owners and residents. .

For example, the median residential tax bill in Bellwood is up 45%, or $ 1,868, from a year ago, according to the analysis. Large increases were also seen in other western suburbs, such as Maywood and in some municipalities south of Chicago.

The results are based on taxes that were levied in 2020 and, as part of the county system, first appear in invoices issued this year. Pappas said the second installment of invoices due in 2021 will be posted later this month and can be viewed and paid online at The website also contains a link to the office’s research.

Pappas said inequalities in the property tax system persist, especially in the southern suburbs. “Property tax increases in 2020 exacerbate financial strains in these communities, hampering economic progress and generational wealth creation,” she said.

Although his office issues the bills and collects payment, it does not determine what homeowners pay. It depends on how much taxes are levied by local governments, while the Cook County assessor spreads that burden by placing assessments on each parcel.

“This is not an attack on the rater,” Pappas said. “We have to fix this system. The facts here speak for themselves. No one understands that the higher the levy, the higher the taxes will be. So I say to all those governments that want to pass bond issues – if you do that, the taxes will go up. “

She said the loss of population and business closures made the situation worse in the southern suburbs, leaving a smaller base to bear the tax burden. Business leaders in the area have long complained that the county’s policy of valuing commercial properties at higher rates than houses puts them at a disadvantage. Employers can build in neighboring counties which offer lower taxes.

The treasurer’s staff analysis – his first statistical snapshot of upcoming tax bills – picks up on the county’s reassessment last year of suburbs south of North Avenue. This year Chicago is being re-evaluated and the effect will show up in invoices next year. The northern suburbs tour arrives in 2022.

In Chicago, this year’s tax bills were little changed for most homeowners, the review found, while the median business tax bill was up 8.6% to $ 9,659.

The report says that predominantly black and Latino communities make up six of the top 10 areas with the biggest tax increases for homeowners and seven of the top 10 for commercial properties.

Suburbs with double-digit percentage increases in homeowners’ bills include Robbins, Cicero, and Stone Park. Trade taxes have increased by more than 20% in Posen, Park Forest and Flossmoor.

Ford Heights, one of the poorest suburbs in the country, saw sharp increases in bills for both homes, a median increase of 18%, and commercial real estate, at 42%.

Eighteen southern suburbs represent the highest average tax rates in the county and are several times higher than the Chicago rate. The rate is multiplied by the assessed value of a property to arrive at the tax bill.

The difference means that in Park Forest, a homeowner would pay about five times as much in taxes as the owner of a home in Chicago that has the same value, according to the report.

The analysis “really puts numbers and data on a lot of the things that concern us,” said Brad Tietz, vice president of government relations for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and one of the many civic leaders to be briefed by. the Pappas team on Monday. He said the ongoing revaluation of Chicago properties will continue to shift the tax burden on businesses.

“The cost of government has exceeded what taxpayers can afford,” Tietz said. Referring to the southern suburbs, he said, “The less you have to tax on commercial properties, the higher the rates will be on residential properties. “

Cook County suburb with the largest increases in median residential bills

Municipality Tax year 2020 Tax year 2019 To augment
Municipality Tax year 2020 Tax year 2019 To augment
Bellwood $ 6,032.80 $ 4,164.40 $ 1,868.40
Maywood $ 6,330.71 $ 4,787.54 $ 1,543.17
Berkeley $ 6,102.87 $ 4,670.53 $ 1,432.34
Stone park $ 5,628.84 $ 4,221.12 $ 1,407.72
Hillside $ 5,531.64 $ 4,167.97 $ 1,363.67
Riverside $ 10,899.32 $ 9,677.91 $ 1,221.41
Cicero $ 5,400.44 $ 4,304.34 $ 1,096.10
Wide view $ 4,735.48 $ 3,695.92 $ 1,039.56
North river bank $ 5,275.29 $ 4,404.01 $ 871.28
Berwyn $ 6,383.40 $ 5,548.64 $ 834.76
Stickney $ 4,953.92 $ 4,192.05 $ 761.87

Table by Andy Boyle, Chicago Sun-Times

Source: Cook County Treasurer | Note: Tax year 2020 is billed in 2021.

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