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Study: Tax rates rise as property values fall

A new study by the Civic Federation says the effective tax rate on residential property in Evanston rose 12.1 percent in 2009, the most recent year for which data is available.

That was near the middle of the pack for the dozen Cook County towns included in the report. The increases ranged from lows of 8.3 percent in Oak Park and 10.7 percent in Chicago to highs of 27.8 percent in Schaumburg and 28.5 percent in Chicago Heights.

The combination of falling property values and increasing tax levies means many homeowners are paying more in taxes now than they were before the recession devastated property values.

The effective tax rate on residential property in Evanston for 2009 was 2.16 percent. That means that a taxpayer with a home valued at $300,000 would face a property tax bill of $6,480, although the homeowner's exemption could reduce that bill slightly.

Over the past decade, Evanston's effective tax rate on residential property has increased by 23 percent — from 1.75 percent in 2000 to 2.16 percent in 2009.

The property tax figures in the Civic Federation study include taxes levied by all taxing bodies that share in revenue from the property tax — including the City of Evanston, local school districts and county government.

The rising tax rates in the face of falling values have prompted a state lawmaker from McHenry County, Jack Franks, to introduce a bill that would prohibit any increase in a government unit's tax levy in a year in which property values in the community fell.

For school districts and other non-home rule governments, increases now are limited to the rate of inflation or 5 percent, whichever is less.

Related document

Civic Federation: Estimated Effective Property Tax Rates

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