Cook County Clerk David Orr this afternoon released tax rates for Evanston and other communities around the county. The rate for Evanston went up 10.84 percent from last year.

But before you faint away at that increase, recognize that there’s a substantial chance that the declining value of your home means you may not actually have to pay more on this fall’s tax bill.

With the new rate, which is 6.801 percent for Evanston residents who are not within any of the three park districts that serve parts of town, plus the market value of your home as estimated by the county assessor, and your recent tax bills you can get at least a ballpark estimate of what your new tax bill will be when it arrives in the mail soon.

Here’s how to figure your own tax bill, as explained by the county clerk’s office.

  • Start by going to the property search page on county assessor’s website. Enter your home’s address in the “Search by Address” section and note the “Estimated 2010 market value.”
  • Multiply that number by 10 percent to get the assessed valuation.
  • Multiply the assessed valuation by the state equalization factor, 3.3, to get the equalized assessed valuation before any exemptions.
  • If you live in your own home, you qualify for a homeowner’s exemption which this year can range from $6,000 to $20,000. Subtract your best guess of that amount from the equalized assessed valuation.
  • Multiply that number by the tax rate, 6.801 percent for most Evanstonians, to get the likely amount of your total tax bill for the year.
  • Subtract the amount you paid in your first installment payment that was due April 1. (The first installment payment was 55 percent of last year’s tax bill.)
  • What’s left is what you should have to pay this fall.

If you want to know what other tax rates are across Cook County, you can find that in the full report from the clerk’s office.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Property Tax Calculation

    I'm surprised somewhere along the line we don't have to divide by Pi and apply The Pythagorean Theorem. Why does it have to be this hard to calculate your property tax bill?

  2. Property Tax Calculation

    Stephen:  This is just another reason why a local resource is necessary for the residents of Evanston.  Many property tax payers are confused about how the amount of their taxes are computed.  Does everyone that cannot understand the assessment appeal system or computation of the tax bill need to hire an attorney to explain it to them?  You get a lot of bang for your 2010 buck (per thousand paid last year for 2009 property taxes) at the Evanston Township Assessor's office.  NICK PAVLETIC

  3. The math isn’t too hard

    Multiplication, division, subtraction… …..stuff that even an unenquiring mind can do.  We certainly don't need keep the silly township alive for this purpose.  Maybe someone (Cook County Auditor?  Treasurer)  can create a webpage or app  that estimates your property tax bill.

  4. Tax Preparation

    The Property Tax calculation is not nearly as hard as State and Federal.

    For State and Federal, if the government bodies [and Ill. Dept. of Revenue and IRS] can pass bills to tax and require taxes be paid, they should be able to create a 'spreadsheet' that has all the computations and necessary legal requirements built in.  It should be clear enough that any citizens who has to pay taxes and use it—with no lawyers or accountants.  People can then fill-it the spreadsheet, and email it. If they There is no reason we should have to spend countless hours studying the tax code and forms and hiring lawyers/accountants or buying tax packages.  If the state or IRS changes the laws, they have the spreadsheet [same on from everyone] and can recalc the taxes.

    If state and Federal bodies can't pass laws and create such a spreadsheet, they have no business passing the tax laws.

    They should also PERSONALLY have to have read FULLY every bill [Final form] before they vote on it–you should not vote on any bill you don't fully agree with.  If there is any fraud [like the recent Pension scandal] and you voted for it, you [the legislator] will be subject to civil/criminal charges.  Sarbanes/Oxley for government.

  5. Property Tax—Wow !

    Anyone who looked at their second installment must be shocked.

    Most of the large increase is for the schools.  If they were doing their job maybe we'd understand but it is obvious they are not.

    This should be the death bell for any new school being built—can you imagine the cost !  The North branch library and to speak of any new branch will also be hurt and I'm afraid even EPL Main will now see tight personal budgets calling for cuts.

    Hopefully a call for a new school Board and wiping out the Administration and getting one in that is for the education and not the salaries, perks and growing their own kingdom !

    This should increase the flight from Evanston, not only of those who can 'technically' afford  it but the middle class who saw their home prices fall, let alone the poor who will be really hurt.


    1. Property Tax —meh…

      I'm guessing I can be included as 'anyone' (owner of a modest property in central Evanston) and I just opened the second installment of my property tax bill. I was shocked as well…not because of the large increase expected but because it wasn't nearly as hefty as I thought it would be.

      What a relief…now I won't have to be included in the 'increased flight' of homeowners you've suggested will be migrating out of the City.


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