September 22, 2011
Cook County Clerk David Orr’s office today released the 2010 Cook County Tax Rates Report. The report lists property tax rates for all taxing districts in Cook County and provides sample composite rates for many municipalities. The composite rate is the total tax rate that appears on a tax bill.
The composite tax rate on a typical City of Chicago tax bill will increase from 4.627% last year to 4.931%. This is the first time the rate has increased since tax year 1998 (payable in 1999) when it grew from 8.843% to 8.872%. The rise in tax rate does not mean that individual tax bills will necessarily increase, as is explained at the end of this blog post.
Tax rates have fallen dramatically in Chicago over the past decade due to significant increases in taxable value (Equalized Assessed Value, or EAV). EAV fell by 2.96% in the City of Chicago, from $84.6 billion in tax year 2009 to $82.1 billion in tax year 2010.
At the release of the 2010 tax rates, Tax Extension Manager Bill Vaselopulos reported that countywide tax extensions for all governments increased from $11.3 billion in tax year 2009 to $11.6 billion in tax year 2010.
Who has the highest 2010 composite tax rate in Cook County? Taxpayers in Ford Heights again have the highest rate at 21.737%. The second highest rate is in Park Forest at 17.860%.
Who has the lowest 2010 composite tax rate in Cook County? Taxpayers in the City of Chicago have the lowest rate (and the only rate under 5%) at 4.931%. Taxpayer in Burr Ridge (in School District 107) have the second lowest rate, at 5.145%.
The following two graphs show the increase in property tax extensions for the primary governments on a City of Chicago property tax bill from 1990 to 2010 and the decrease in tax rates over the same period until the increase in 2010. Tax rates have fallen despite tax extensions increasing for several governments because the overall taxable value of property has increased more than extensions. For more on how this works read the Civic Federation’s Tax Extension primer.
The new tax rates will appear on second installment tax bills expected to be mailed by the Cook County Treasurer’s office in early October and due in the first week of November 2011. Last year second installment tax bills were due on December 13th, 2010.
First installment 2011 bills are expected to be due on March 1, 2012 and will be equal to 55% of the previous year’s tax bill.
Will your tax bill go up or down? As noted in this blog post, predicting individual tax bills is impossible because they depend not only on the amount of revenue requested by local governments but on changes to the relative value of one property compared to other properties.
None of the Cook County offices involved with property taxation produces an analysis of year-to-year changes in the tax bills of the over 1.8 million real estate parcels countywide, so there is no average or median data available on how many tax bills increase or decrease each year. Some property taxpayers’ bills do decline in a given year as the burden is shifted among properties.