Report: Evanston held line on tax hikes

A new report from The Civic Federation says Evanston had the smallest increase in its effective property tax of a dozen Cook County municipalities studied during the period 2006 to 2015.

The group, analyzing data from the Cook County Clerk's office, says the effective tax rate on residential property in Evanston rose from 1.65 percent of the property's value in 2006 to 2.10 percent in 2015 -- a 27.8 percent increase.

That 2015 levy figure is for taxes to be paid in 2016 and it includes taxes from all the govenment bodies imposing a property tax levy.

Chicago, starting from a rate lower base than Evanston, increased its tax rate just slightly more than Evanston during the period, by 27.9 percent.

Oak Park's rate increased 37.7 percent, Glenview's 38.3 percent and Arlington Heights' rate rose 49.4 percent.

The 2015 tax rate was lower than Evanston's in three communities -- Chicago, at 1.66 percent; Glenview, at 1.76 percent, and Barrington, at 2.07 percent.

The effective tax rate, The Civic Federation says, is the percentage of a property's value that a typical residential property owner would pay in taxes -- before deductions for homeowner's or other tax exemptions.

It's distinctly possible that Evanston will lose its smallest increase distinction in next year's calculation, when the impact of the School District 65 property tax hike approved by voters last spring shows up in The Civic Federation's report.

Related document

Estimated Effective Property Tax Rates (The Civic Federation)



Tax Increase/SPEND LESS

Sometimes looking for good news like this report is simply a fool's folly. Of course there will be a significant increase once the District 65 increase is factored. So let's make it simple: Evanston: high property taxes (doesn't matter which taxing body gets credit), high sales tax, high state income tax (2017 60%+ raise).

Now: what to do about it? Elections are upcoming. Use this as your guide: Vote for the people who will reduce ALL three taxes. Ignore what they will do (empty promises of programs which involve SPENDING MONEY). Listen to how or why they will spend LESS. It's not as hard as you think because very few candidates will run on this platform: SPEND LESS.


Actually, clever to stop at 2015. Has anyone seen the taxes now? try 4% +/- of the home's "assessed" value ... 4% is insane ... if your assessed value is "$35,000" (translate that to $350,000..) CCA taxes you at $12,000- $14,000 in Evanston.. then you get your HO exemption.. Yes, we need to manage our budget but you're breaking the backs of long time residents with this... Not long ago if you bought new constrution in Evanston the tax was calculated to be 2% before exemptions... not anymore. The City has decided to only build high rise "luxury" rentals now anyway so no one will be buying new construction

An important consideration

This is interesting information to start a discussion.

However, more information is needed and other issues need to be considered.

One important fact is the growth rate of median household income during the same time period.

Most things are relative. If household income is growing at 5% annually and it's tax burden is growing at 4%, there is "extra income" to compensate for the additional taxes. But if household income is only growing at 1% and taxes are growing at 2%, then people feel "pinched" and "squeezed" by this "even lower" and "slower" tax burden.

A challenge in funding our government bodies is that the system uses an "asset" i.e. real estate to fund their "expenses." Effectively, an "asset" is supposed to generate "income." Most people don't see or realize the wealth effect from higher home values, but they immediately see the impact of higher or lower salary, wages, and bonuses. 

My guess is that in the last 10 years, most families, if they're fortunate to own a house, have seen their home value just get back or about to get back to price levels realized 10 years ago, yet growth rates in income are lower than growth rates in taxes during this time frame. Hence the consternation expressed by many people about rising taxes and fees. 

And this discussion doesn't even include the impact of unfunded liabilities that taxpayers are on the hook for in the future, including pensions, healthcare and other post employment benefits (OPEB).

Yet at the same time, taxpayers are required to fund their own retirements and pay for higher healthcare and massively rising college costs.

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