With second installment property tax bills due Dec. 1, Cook County’s Treasurer is reporting that the median bill for residential property owners in Evanston is up 9.6% this year.

The new report from Treasurer Maria Pappas indicates the median homeowner’s bill in Evanston now stands at $7,336.

Despite the size of the percentage increase here, it is a smaller boost than in many other nearby communities.

The absolute size of the median residential tax bill is also higher in most of those towns — though it is lower in Des Plaines, Niles, Schaumburg, Skokie and Wheeling. (The median tax bill amount for any of the communities can be seen by mousing over the appropriate bar on the chart above.)

The size of the median tax bill is influenced by several factors — including the value of commercial property in a town also subject to property tax, the level of services provided by local government agencies and the median price of a home in the community.

Towns with more commercial property, a lower level of government services and a larger proportion of more modestly priced homes and condos will tend to have a lower median property tax bill.

About 20% of Evanston’s total property tax levy funds city government programs, 67% goes to School Districts 65 and 202. The other 13% is split among Cook County government and other taxing districts.

The city is currently considering a budget for 2024 that calls for a 7.8% increase in its property tax levy.

The county treasurer’s office also has provided data showing the trend of increases in the median bill for residential and commercial properties in northern Cook County over the past 20 years.

While residential bills have more than doubled in absolute terms, after adjusting for increases in the consumer price index, they are up about 27% in constant dollar terms.

By contrast, the median inflation-adjusted cost of property taxes for commercial property owners is up only 3% over those two decades.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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