Evanston homeowners will see their tax rate increase more than 15 percent when new tax bills are issued in a few days — but because of declining home values, the average tax owed will increase only about two percent.

That’s the word from Cook County Clerk David Orr, who released tax rate figures at a news conference this morning.

For Evanstonians the biggest percentage increase in tax rates will be for the Evanston Public Library. Its rate will increase 35 percent, from 0.173 to 0.234 percent of the property’s assessed valuation.

The only decrease will come from the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District, whose levy will drop 30 percent from 0.01 to 0.007 percent of assessed valuation.

The City of Evanston’s rate will increase 13.48 percent from 1.551 to 1.76 percent of assessed value.

School tax rates — for District 65, District 202 and Oakton Community College will each increase a little over 16.5 percent — at or close to each district’s tax-cap imposed limit.

Evanston and other communities in northern Cook County were reassessed last year for the first time since 2010, so the decline in assessed values reflect the sharp drop in real estate sales prices during that period.

Recent increases in property values won’t be fully reflected in tax rates until after the next triennial reassessment.

For an Evanston resident not in any park district with a home that the assessor has assigned a market value of $200,000, if the homeowner qualifies for a homowner’s tax exemption but no other exemptions, the tax bill for the year, according to a formula provided by the county clerk’s office, would be $4,507.21.

Evanston’s tax rate of 9.747 percent for properties not in any park district, is significantly higher than the 6.832 rate in the City of Chicago. The next lowest rate in the county is 7.003 in the Village of Barrington.

By contrast, several south suburban communities have rates more than three times as high as Evanston’s. 

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Schools improve 16% ???

    Does anyone believe the schools improved 16% ?  16% better safety ? 16% higher test scores [or whatever measure you pick] ?

    I suspect it is 16% increase in consulting fees, programs to validate or enforce or 'study' new/implement programs du jour like "African mathematics for blacks", "dual language because we don't believe they can learn/funciton with English" and other polictically correct ideas.

    I bet administrative costs have and will keep going up—just look at the salaries and contracts the Board keeps issuing.

    1. Taxes went up 2%, not 16%

      I can't answer your question about whether the schools improved by 16%, but the amount of the property taxes did not go up by 16%, but rather the rate went up that much. The base went down, so the actual amount of tax went up by a much smaller amount. According to the article, the total rate is up 15%, but the actual tax is up only 2%. So the 16% rate increase for the schools would also correspond with an actual tax increase of about 2%. Keep in mind that property taxes aren't defined by the rate. Rather, each taxing authority determines the amount of its levy (the amount to be collected) which is divided into the total assessed value for all properties to determine the rate. So the amount of the levy determines the rate, unlike income tax, where the legislature defines the income tax rate not the total amount to be collected. In this case, the total tax levy is only up about 2%.

      1. The Reality of the Property Taxes

        For all the County/city saying the tax bill would not be as bad as proposed increase looked [16% increase in school tax would really be 2%], I think most taxpayers must be shock by their actual bill, from my bill and friend’s bills I’ve seen.

        For a 19% decrease in Assessed Valuation [should be good] there was a 59% DECREASE in Homeowner Exemption [the amount].  School taxes [amount] were up 26% and city taxes up 23% !  Overall the tax bill was 25% higher than last year.   Are the students 26% better educated or are administrators getting the benefit ?  Are city services 23% better or is this more of reckless spending by the Council and their ‘gifts’ and special tax/rental deals for what they pick as ‘winners.’

        When new tax rates are announced, the County and city always says "don't worry the actual amount won't be that bad" and say that the tax amounts are based on Valuation and 'Need' of the taxing bodies "so don't worry"—hoping we forget.  But even as Valuations go down [finally reflecting the reality everyone has known was really true in 2008], taxes go up.  Now IF property values increase in the future, we will be hit with higher rates/amounts because the city/county say are property [and supposed income/wealth] have improved and WE the taxpayers can afford it.  They just hope we will forget.  They can't even show in plain Englisth or formulas how the Valuations, Homeowner [regular, senior, longtime owner, etc.] are calculated.  Only 'trust us.'

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