Just in time for the Independence Day holiday, property tax bills started showing up in the mailboxes of homeowners around Evanston today.

As Evanston Now reported last month, the average tax bill is up 19 percent.

Your increase may be larger or smaller, depending on the change in the assessed value of your home and whether you succeeded in an appeal of you new assessment.

The main driver of the increased tax bills is the School District 65 referendum that voters approved by a 4-to-1 margin back in April.

Payment of the new tax bills is due on Aug. 1.

Related story

Typical property tax bill to rise 19 percent (6/13/17)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. 13% increase for me – $500 more for the District 65 Tax Bill

    I wonder if anyone is sorry they voted for the district 65 increase now that they see their bill. The people campaigning for the increase misled others info thinking if would only be – what was it — $40/month added to the tax bill? Of course they didn’t mention that it was only one portion of the tax bill increase. 

    1. Put the $40/ month on all of our bills.
      Yup. $40/month added for D65 on average (mansion owners pay more). As advertised. The additional tax increases Bill notes were not part of the referendum although many fail to separate it out & look at the whole bill & blame D65 for all of it.

      Feel free to join AnonymousAl on his stated plans for revolution, just don’t mess with funding for kids.

      Pensions, NW not paying their fair share, tax breaks for big businesses? Let’s take a look at the issues we can ALL agree on as wasteful/unfair. Let’s focus on some shared sacrifice for the security & prosperity of future generations.

      1. Yes, D65 Is the majority of my increase

        My taxes would still be affordable if I didn’t have to pay the D65 $500 increase which I voted against.

      2. highest tax in State

        I believe that Evanston has the highest property tax in state per assessed evaluation, all because district 65 teachers are unable to teach their kids on just a lot of money. To bad we need teacher unions.

        1. False

          Hi bweb,

          Evanston’s property tax rate is far from the highest in the state. Many poorer communities charge much higher tax rates, and still generate less revenue. You could look up the rates for all Cook County communities here.

          Because property values tend to be relatively high here, the tax bill (valuation x rate) for a middle-class homeowner may be higher here than it would be in a community where a similar home would sell for less.

          On the other hand, the per-student spending by Evanston’s school districts is toward the high end among districts across the nation. You can explore a map charting nationwide data for that here.

          — Bill

          1. Right

            Bill you are right for the most part. The nationwide rates are from 2013 and things have changed, somewhat since then. Overall, you had some good research.

            My property assessment was up 34 % but my taxes were down by 18 % thanks to my Senior Freeze going into effect this tax year. Lucky Timing for me.

  2. Where are the save our schools people now?

    All campaign season people hounded us to save our schools. They claimed that for just $480 we could ensure schools were funded. Well today I opened my tax bill and the D65 portion of my tax bill went up  by $1100, a FAR cry from the two presentations I sat through. Where are Candance Chow, Richard Rykus, Eamon Kelly, and Bridget Nelson? Are they planning to cover the extra $700 I’m being charged? Will my kids get extra services at school? I hope you all remember this when Candance runs again, when Eamon runs for State Senate this fall, when you have coffee with Bridget, and when Richard gives his opinion about something else we need to do “for the kids”


    1. Enjoying their vacations in Cancun

      Well now, most people that attend meetings are sleep or fighting sleep.  It is too late now to complain. Check on how many times the referendum was discussed in the past 10 years. Those tiny so called increases per pupil on graphs and charts..  While you are sleeping, those that have your best interest at heart are discussing how are your children are going to be educated and what affects their education.  Most educators and decision makers are not thinking of how mathematically this will affect you as a taxpayer.  Don’t mess with the kids they say.  Surely they know that we are spinoffs from Chicago politics and decision making.  Along with the Crook County machine on the assessment of how lower income homes are over assessed.  Think about what would happen to your kids when the State will not be funded for compliance with the Sanctuary city status.  Or if the law will legalize 24/7 recreational weed smoking in Illinois, not to mention if the brilliant idea of “destination casinos” come to town.  New buzz word “challenge” these issues if you will, and see how it will affect the bond issues and penson funding.  Higher a consultant or do an analysis and include the 13% increase in city (formerly township) budget. 

    2. I think more will vote no next time

      Don’t expect another yes vote anytime soon. With the state of Illinois voting today to increase our taxes, discuss a progressive tax, but not discuss spending reforms our standard of living will decline in the next few years. And with many of the educated people fleeing Illinois, who will you have left to pay these high taxes?

    3. Mansion owners pay more
      The average increase is $500/year. $40/month. You clearly live in an expensive piece of real estate if you’re paying double that. Nobody has pity for rich people who complain about paying their share for the common good.

      1. Inaccurate

        JRC – you are correct, those with mini mansions due pay more, however, when I purchased my home 3 years ago it was only $480k this my assumption that my referendum increase would be greater tha the incorrect amount given by the Save our Schools team. Many others have started making the same discoveries when opening their bills this week; the “adv” price quoted was WAY too low. Several people have already talked about the grave financial hardship this will place on their families. While I’d rather not pay this very high bill, I will and I can. I do wish that the info provided by the committee was more accurate, particularly given that the state is a fiscal disaster and people may be facing other tough financial decisions. 

        1. Your assumption was incorrect, not the information presented

          $500 increase per annum ON AVERAGE. You live in a half-million dollar home. That’s far from average for housing. As for the other Cook County taxes that, cumulatively, increase taxes by 19%, ON AVERAGE,- why is it D65’s job to educate you about them? That’s a strange piece of logic. Does a real estate agent tell you about your wheel tax fees or beach token fees when selling you a house? Nope, different categories with no expectation that they should. Same holds true here.

          1. Agree

            I also purchased my house three years ago for slightly less than “Concerned” and while that commenter’s statements are not mine, I share those concerns as our taxes have been increasing at an alarming rate. I expect to pay my fair share (and have always worked for/volunteered for good causes), but I also would like to be able to stay and raise my children in the community where I have lived for decades. Those concerns are valid, but unlike “Concerned”, I raised my concerns with the school board and referendum committee directly around the time of the vote, and only because they were so pushy and came to my home repeatedly.

      2. Fair balance

        The people campaigning for the $500 tax increase failed to provide fair balance. They said tax bills would go up by $500, but they did not disclose that this would only be a portion of one’s tax bill. They also didn’t mention that it would be retro-active to the beginning of 2016, meaning that people have little time to prepare to come up with money for this increase 30 days in advance of when it is due. Why do Evanstonians let them get away with this?

        1. Many Evanstonians are Lemmings
          For such an educated community, far too many people aren’t informed, don’t think for themselves and don’t act. That’s why “Evanstonians let them get away with this?”

          If you did read the literature and thought about what it said, but more importantly what it didn’t say, the tax increases now coming into your mailbox were obvious. For people who didn’t understand that the $500 average increase was for only the D65 portion, that’s their fault. In all the literature i read, and the many meetings i attended, the tax increase was never represented to reflect the entire real estate tax – only the D65 portion. The one missing ingredient from the meetings was thoughtful and insightful questions from the audience. Too many softball questions were asked.

          I am a strong and ardent supporter of public schools not only in Evanston, but throughout our country.

          The USA needs a highly engaged and educated population in order to sustain our democracy.
          Just look east to D.C. and think about what the future portends if current education, literacy and cultural trends persist.

          Despite my commitment to public education, paying more in taxes doesn’t in and of itself guarantee that the quality of education will increase.

          Evanston needs more people to pay attention, get informed, think, ask questions and get involved.


      3. This really hurts people who

        This really hurts people who need the money the most. I am going to have let my house cleaner go. And no – I am not rich, she only comes 1x per month. I will miss her.

        1. Time will tell, but certainly

          Time will tell, but certainly will be interesting to track whether the significant and meaningful increase in our annual fixed costs (eg, property taxes [ave. +19%] and state income taxes [+33%]) will have any impact on our discretionary spending — such as house cleaning, lawn care, charitable and church giving.

          Will people consider their increased tax burden to fund the guaranteed pensions as “charitable” giving to the city and state, effectively reprioritizing their giving to other organizations in need?

          1. I will reduce discretionary spending @ local Evanston businesses

            Yep, I will pay the $500 property tax increase and the ~$1,600 income tax increase out of the pockets of local businesses. Easy to cut spending at local restaurants and other local shops. Oh, and I’m not paying that crook county soda tax either.

  3. Let’s look at student test

    Let’s look at student test scores at the end of the next school year.  Recalls  of school board members are possible.  So is enough static to get the superintendent gone the year after that.

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