September 22, 2016
This report provides a comprehensive examination of all unincorporated areas in Cook County. It builds extensively on a 2014 report by the Civic Federation and includes final recommendations on how the County can improve general management of unincorporated areas, work with local governments to improve future planning efforts and reduce the subsidy provided to unincorporated residents by all County taxpayers.
Approximately 2.4%, or 126,034, of Cook County’s 5.2 million residents live in unincorporated areas of the County and therefore do not pay taxes to a municipality. According to Civic Federation calculations, Cook County spends approximately $42.9 million annually in expenses related to the delivery of municipal-type services to unincorporated areas, including law enforcement, building and zoning and liquor control. Because the areas only generate $24.0 million toward defraying the cost of these special services, County taxpayers effectively pay an $18.9 million subsidy, even as they pay taxes for their own municipal services.
For information on the 2014 Unincorporated Cook County report please click here.