Gary H. Smith
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Just When You Thought Cook County Property Taxes Couldn’t Go Any Higher

By Gary Smith
Just When You Thought Cook County Property Taxes Couldn’t Go Any Higher

The amount of property taxes within Cook County remains a moving target as various government entities pile on the percentages to fill its coffers. As the saying goes: “Nothing is certain in life except death and taxes.”

Illinois Property Taxes Second Highest in Nation

Illinois has the second-highest property taxes in the country, at 2.32 percent, behind New Jersey. And within Illinois, Cook County property taxes continue to soar.

For instance, in Norridge, homeowners on average paid 1.68 percent of the community’s median home value. Cook County commercial and industrial properties percentage average tax bill to value range even higher. The average effective property rate across the United States is 1.19 percent. In Indiana, a state to which many Illinois families are moving to save money, the average effective property rate is .089 percent.

And Norridge property taxes will face another jump, as officials just approved a property tax levy of around 35 percent to comply with a state law requiring its police pension fund to be at 90 percent by 2040.

An analysis by Local Government Information Services of real estate data from the Western Suburbs from Jan. 1 to June 1 found that homeowners in Maywood, Countryside, River Grove, Oak Park, Stone Park, Northlake, River Forest, Bellwood, and Hodgkins pay the highest property taxes in the region, between 2.75 and 4 percent.

The continuous tax hikes are why it’s important that homeowners file an appeal when faced with inaccurate property tax assessments.

Appeals Process Easy to Follow

Filing a property tax appeal is not complicated. First, make sure there are no mistakes about the property on the tax assessment. Sometimes an assessment might reflect the wrong amount of rooms or inaccurate square footage.

Second, homeowners should look at nearby properties that are similar to their own in terms of bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage to see where those homes are valued, to use that information on the appeal.

Third, paperwork should be filled out correctly. Follow the three-pages of rules outlined on the Cook County Board of Reviews website.

In Cook County, there are two entities to which a homeowner can appeal: The Cook County Assessor’s Office and the Board of Review.

Even if a homeowner appeals the amount of the assessment or the property taxes, they still must pay their property taxes on time while the process is moving forward.