Cook County Real Estate Tax Increases for 2008 Second Installment

Despite decreased home values, the collective total tax burden for Cook County property-owners will rise approximately 4.2% for the 2008 tax year. It appears that overall, the city’s taxes will increase more than suburban taxes, because the collective tax burden for city property-owners will be about 6% greater than last year. Because of the way real estate taxes are calculated, collective property values (for tax purposes only) increased 9.96% in the city and 8.23% in the suburbs.

Both the suburbs and the city are comprised of multiple taxing bodies, such as schools, libraries, park districts, governmental bodies, etc. Even though the value of your home may have gone down, and you may have even had a successful assessed value appeal, the various factors that go into determining your tax rate may have gone up. For example, the Chicago Board of Education increased its tax requirements by over five percent, and the City of Chicago government needed a 1.6% increase. The Forest Preserve District and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District increased their budgets by 4.5% each.

Is there any good news in all of this? Well, taxes going up is seldom good news. However, as the bills are coming out late, homeowners can hold on to their money a little bit longer.

One more tidbit: Typically, the first installment tax bill of any given tax year in Cook County is exactly half of the previous full-year bill. Starting with the 2009 first installment tax bill, however, this is going to change. The 2009 first installment tax bill will be 55% of the total 2008 tax bill.