Unincorporated Cook County: A Profile of Six Townships and Preliminary Recommendations to Facilitate Incorporation

December 09, 2014

To view a mobile friendly version of this report, click here.

This report examines selected areas within Cook County that have never been incorporated by a municipality. Approximately 2.4%, or 126,114, of Cook County’s 5.2 million residents live in unincorporated areas of the County and therefore do not pay taxes to a municipality. This requires County government to provide municipal services, including law enforcement, building and zoning, and liquor control, to small pockets of residents scattered throughout the County.

The report includes an examination of why these areas have never been incorporated, detailed profiles of selected unincorporated areas and an estimate of the County’s cost to provide municipal services to its unincorporated areas. The report also provides an estimate of how much unincorporated residents’ property taxes might increase or decrease if their properties were incorporated into a nearby municipality. Based on this analysis, the Civic Federation provides several interim recommendations for the County to increase accountability, fully track costs, and facilitate incorporation.

Click here to read the press release for this report.

Click here for a glossary of terms commonly used in this report.

The full report includes compiled profiles of the unincorporated areas in the six townships that contain a majority of the total unincorporated Cook County population: Bremen, Lemont, Leyden, Maine, Northfield and Orland. The gallery below includes photos from these townships, and more detailed township profiles can be found here.