Cook County Clerk David Orr released new property tax rate figures yesterday.

And, if you can figure out how big your homeowners exemption will be, you might actually be able to calculate your new tax bill using the data Orr provides.

I’ve tried running the math several different ways, and I think I’m going to face a 7 percent increase in my bill. But the calculations are confusing enough that I have little confidence in the results I got … and your mileage almost certainly will vary.

Most Evanston homeowners saw big increases in the assessed valuation of their homes this year, but the state concluded that the reassessment still left the valuations lagging true values more than before, so it raised the equalization factor from 2.7076 to a record 2.8439.

On the plus side, bouyed by the higher valuations, tax rates declined — by 15.6 percent to 6.541 for most Evanston residents.

The homeowner’s exemption is supposed to limit the increase in the taxable value of a property to 7 percent each year, but it’s capped at $33,000 the first year and there’s enough mumbo jumbo in the rules to make your head spin.

Further increasing the pain this year is the reality that the value of many homes has declined since the assessment was done.

Look for the definitive answer to your “What’ll I have to pay?” question when tax bills hit your mailbox early next month.

The first payment at the new rates is due Nov. 3.

Related links

Clerk’s office news release

Tax rate report (.pdf from Clerk’s office)

Tax bills coming: Watch out (Pioneer Press)

Property tax bills won’t reflect drop in home values (Chicago Tribune)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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