2018 Cook County Tax Rates Release

Date: 
June 20, 2019
Press Release
Real Estate and Tax
The 2018 property tax rates, calculated by the Cook County Clerk for more than 1,400 taxing agencies, were released today. This is the final step in the process before property tax bills are mailed. Tax bill payments are due August 1, 2019. The full report can be found here.

"Calculating and publishing these tax rates is a massive effort towards transparency and fairness in taxation, and I want to commend the staff of the Clerk's Office and the municipal offices for working together and getting this part of the process done in an extremely efficient manner," said Karen A. Yarbrough, County Clerk.
 
Once again, the total property taxes billed for taxing districts in Cook County has broken previous records from $14.4 billion last year to exceeding $14.9 billion this year. As a result, it is expected that individual taxing districts may receive increased property tax revenues due to this 3.7% increase over last year.
 
As property values in the North and Central areas of the City of Chicago increase, the property tax burden is shifting away from the South Side of the City.

Changes to individual tax bills will vary, but in general, single family homes in the northern and central parts of the City of Chicago may see increased tax bills.  Property taxes for single family homes in the suburbs and the southern part of the City remain mostly flat.
 
Property Tax Changes for Average Single-Family Dwellings by Region
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1. Estimated Average Market Value based on Average Assessed Value for single family residences by Class.
2. Average Tax rates calculated as Total Tax in Region divided by Total Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) in Region.  Actual rates within Regions will vary.
3. Average Tax Bill amounts based on Estimated Average Market Value as listed for each Region.


Taxes for commercial properties across Cook County and the City of Chicago are also seeing changes this year.
 
Property Tax Changes for Commercial Properties by Region


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1. Estimated Average Market Value based on Average Assessed Value for commercial properties by Class.
2. Average Tax rates calculated as Total Tax in Region divided by Total Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) in Region.  Actual rates within Regions will vary.
3. Average Tax Bill amounts based on Estimated Average Market Value as listed for each Region.


 

Property Tax Cycle in Cook County

Cook County is divided into three regions for assessment purposes and each of these regions is reassessed every three years (“triennials”). For tax year 2018, the City of Chicago was reassessed. The southern and western suburbs were reassessed for tax year 2017 and currently the northern and northwestern suburbs are being reassessed for tax year 2019.
 

Cook County Reassessment Areas (Triennials)


Property assessments in Cook County are set by the Cook County Assessor and finalized by the Cook County Board of Review. These assessments are equalized using the Illinois Department of Revenue’s (IDOR) state equalization factor.

The overall taxable value or equalized assessed value (EAV) in Cook County increased by 5.1% this year.  See the chart below for changes in equalized assessed values across Cook County.  The largest changes this year are in the City of Chicago.
 

Change in Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) in Cook County by Region


 
How Taxes and Tax Rates Are Calculated

Individual tax bills are calculated as follows:
 

Individual Tax Bill Calculation

 
There are a number of factors which impact whether or not individual property tax bills will increase or decrease. Among these factors, the three most impactful are:

  • The amount of property tax requested by the taxing districts (property tax levies)
  • The change in the value of a property relative to other properties within the same districts (property assessment)
  • The change in the state-issued equalization factor compared to the prior year

A taxing district is a government body such as a school district, library or municipality which is authorized to receive funding from property taxes.  Each district in Cook County submits a property tax levy to the County Clerk each year.  Tax rates are calculated by dividing the funds each taxing district requests in their levy by the total taxable value (EAV) within each district. The tax rates of all districts that service a particular property are compiled to create the composite tax rate for that property.

Statutory Limits on Tax Increases

The Illinois Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL), also known as the “Tax Cap Law,” was put in place in the mid-1990s to prevent districts from increasing their property tax revenues by more than the rate of inflation. This year, districts were limited to an increase of 2.1%. (the 2018 Consumer Price Index). However, PTELL does not apply to home rule districts, debt obligations, special purpose funds and value derived from new property or from terminated Tax Increment Financing Districts (TIFs).

Taxes billed in Cook County increased 3.7% for tax year 2018 compared to 2017.  See the chart below for a breakdown of tax increases by region.
 

Changes in Total 2018 Taxes Billed in Cook County by Region

 


Analysis of the City of Chicago

The total taxable value of property in the City of Chicago increased 12.5% for tax year 2018. Individual increases or decreases varied across City. Some areas experienced larger increases than others.

The City is divided into eight assessment townships (see map below). The highest increase in equalized assessed value occurred in West Township, in the central portion of the City, at 17.8%. Hyde Park Township, in the southern portion of the City, had the smallest increase at 3.3%. These changes contribute to a shift of the tax burden away from the southern portion of the City towards the central and northern portions of the City.
 

 

Equalized Assessed Value Changes by Township
in the City of Chicago for Tax Year 2018


 

The reassessment of the City of Chicago resulted in an increase in assessed value (AV) of approximately 16.4%. This increase was offset by a 1.8% decrease in the state-issued equalization factor.

All property owners in the City of Chicago have the same tax rate with the exception of properties in special districts such as Special Service Areas, Home Equity Assurance Districts, Expanded Mental Health Services Districts and the South Cook Mosquito Abatement District. Properties in these special districts pay an additional amount of tax for these services. Because all properties in the City have the same tax rate, more or less, variability in Chicago tax bills is usually due to differences in taxable value (EAV). The general tax rate for the City of Chicago decreased 6.6% this year.

In general, City of Chicago property owners with taxable value (EAV) increases of greater than 6.6% may see their tax bills go up, while property owners with taxable value decreases, or increases less than 6.6%, may see their tax bills go down.


Analysis of Suburban Cook County

Whereas tax rates in the City of Chicago tend to be uniform, tax rates in suburban Cook County see much more variability.  This is due to the larger number of taxing districts in the suburbs.

The Southern and Western suburbs tend to have lower property values and thus higher tax rates, while the Northern and Northwestern suburbs tend to have higher property values and thus lower tax rates.  Both regions have higher rates than the City of Chicago which has the largest value base of the three Cook County assessment areas.

In addition to having different tax rates in different suburbs, taxpayers within the same suburb may pay different rates based on the specific taxing districts which provide their services. For example, in the Village of Lynwood some taxpayers in School District 172 have a composite tax rate this year of 11.164% while other taxpayers in School District 169 have a composite tax rate of 25.214%.  These properties are in the same municipality but have different tax rates because of the different taxing districts that serve them.  As such, comparable properties could therefore have very different tax bills.

Similarly, there are six different elementary school districts in the Village of Skokie and taxpayers have rates that range between 8.305% and 12.443% largely dependent upon which school district they live within.  Each second installment tax bill will display the list of districts that contribute to a property’s final tax amount.


Summation

  • Taxable values in Cook County as a whole have increased 5.1%.
  • Assessment increases across the City of Chicago have contributed to a 6.6% reduction in the City’s tax rate and a shift of the property tax burden from the South Side of the City to the Northern and Central areas of the City.
  • This report has presented the general trends occurring in Cook County. Each tax bill will vary depending on specific circumstances including taxing district levies, individual assessments and other factors.
  • The 2018 second installment property tax bill payments are due August 1, 2019.
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