December 27, 2019
The following are summaries of the five most read posts presented on the Civic Federation’s blog in 2019 in chronological order. The posts examine issues related to local taxes—including property taxes—and the State of Illinois’ budget.
January 9, 2019
The Civic Federation annually releases a report on consumer taxes in the City of Chicago. This January 2019 blog post previewed the report by highlighting new consumer taxes approved in 2018 to take effect in 2019. Tax increases effective in 2019 included those on home sharing, liquid nicotine, ground transportation by rideshare companies and water and sewer utilities.
January 18, 2019
The Civic Federation annually releases a report on effective property tax rates in selected communities in northeastern Illinois, which examines two- and ten-year trends in estimated effective tax rates for residential, commercial and industrial property. Following the report, this blog post looked at the ten-year trend for residential property in Cook County. Between 2007 and 2016, the 10-year period covered by the report, effective tax rates increased for all Cook County communities analyzed. Increases ranged from 21.7% in Arlington Heights to 98.0% in Chicago Heights.
April 12, 2019
In advance of the Chicago municipal election in March, the Civic Federation released a report on the financial challenges facing the next mayor and City Council. This blog post explored one revenue option discussed by a number of aldermanic candidates in the lead up to the election—a local City of Chicago income tax. While the Civic Federation does not have a position on a city income tax and does not support tax increases in the abstract, the post explored how such a tax might work as well as its challenges and merits. Notably, the Illinois Constitution provides that home rule units of governments such as the City of Chicago may only impose a local income tax if that authority is granted by the General Assembly, and it has not done so to date.
June 7, 2019
In a flurry of activity at the end of its spring session, the 101st Illinois General Assembly passed a $40 billion operating budget, approved significant tax increases and authorized the State’s first major construction program in a decade, financed partly by an expansion of gambling. This post was the first in a series that examined the enacted FY2020 State of Illinois budget, and offered an overview of revenues, expenditures and major issues. Subsequent posts explored a new tax on health insurers intended to generate substantial reimbursements from the federal government, the Rebuild Illinois capital plan and the unexpectedly small impact of a pension buyout plan instituted in FY2019 and continued in FY2020.
June 12, 2019
The Illinois Department of Revenue announced in June 2019 that the final equalization factor for the Cook County 2018 property assessment year (taxes payable in 2019) was 2.9109. This measure is used to achieve uniform property assessments across the State. This blog post explained the significance of the 2018 equalization factor’s value in relation to the 2017 equalization factor and why Cook County uses an equalization factor.