The property tax bill for a typical Evanston homeowner will increase by about 19 percent when second installment tax bills are issued later this summer.

The Cook County Clerk’s office today issued tax rate figures that show a 10 percent drop in rates in Evanston.

Combined with the 25 percent average increase in property values in last year’s reassessment, a 5 percent increase in the state equalization factor and an unchanged homeowner’s exemption and the net impact is an increase of just over 19 percent.

Of course some assessment increases varied greatly from the 25 percent average and appeals may have reduced assessments for some homeowners, so your actual tax increase is likely to vary significantly from the average figure.

By far the biggest factor contributing to the Evanston tax increase is the School District 65 tax referendum approved overwhelmingly by voters in April. While the average tax rate dropped 10 percent, the District 65 tax rate dropped only 3.5 percent — and it’s the largest single component of the tax bill to start with.

Other agencies whose rates decreased less than the average — indicating significant spending increases — included Cook County, down 3.44 percent; the Metropolitan Water Resources District, down 4.69 percent; the city’s general assistance levy, down 7.89 percent, and the Forest Preserve District, down 8.7 percent.

The biggest tax rate declines — a sign of more modest spending increases — came from Evanston Township High School and the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District, each down more than 16 percent. Three more levies — from Oakton Community College, the City of Evanston and the Evanston Public Library were each down more than 14 percent.

To calculate your tax bill you need to get the current assessed value of your home from the assessor’s office website,

Multiply that by the state equalization factor of 2.8032.

Subtract any exemptions to which you’re entitled. (The most common is the $7,000 homeowner exemption.)

Multiply that by the overall tax rate announced today — which is 9.028 percent for Evanstonians who don’t live in a park district or one of the city’s special service areas.

Voila! Your tax bill.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Wait to see those who thought Referendum was a ‘freebe’
    Despite being told the cost, I bet a lot of home owners thought ‘no it can’t really cost ME’ and that any money the schools [theater groups, “art” and on and on] are worth anything we have to pay–no questions asked, such views will be put to rest when the “taxman cometh.”
    Want to bet we see no improvement in school—teaching or facilities. But the union and administration won’t suffer—what did they give back to “improve out schools.” Instead strapped parents will face increased costs to send their kids to Evanston schools [remember even K-12 is not really ‘free’—looks at fees and all the ‘extras’ not to mention the latest clothes, sports, band, clubs] and later [if not sooner] when trying to pay for college.

    1. Wait wait wait! Didn’t they

      Wait wait wait! Didn’t they say it would cost the average homeowner $50 / month???

      Apparently they do not teach math or ethics in District 65.  Proud to say I voted No.

      Now just wait for the US Senate to finish up healthcare “reform”!

  2. Attempting to cover the real

    Attempting to cover the real cash cost of guaranteed defined benefit plans.

    Without meaningful, real change to the union’s and public employee’s guaranteed defined benefit plans, tax increases such as what we are seeing here, will not only become permanent, but also will become more frequent.  

    1. A few of us voted “no” on the
      A few of us voted “no” on the school referendum and will, unfortunately, still pay the ridiculously high property taxes. Perhaps if more people had voted and voted no, we would be in better shape. As it is, for what we spend taxwise for students, we could send each student to a private school. Pity parents don’t get this. But hey we do get overpaid teachers, staff, and a so so school system. That’s a fair resolution.

      1. Why we voted no

        We voted no, and not because we oppose quality education, but because we support fiscally responsible, proactive planning and budgeting.

  3. How much of the 19% increase
    How much of the 19% increase is the cash grab by the District 65 Teachers union? By the way, My property tax assessment increase was 34% for no logical reason. I wonder what my tax increase will be?

    When will the smart people living in Evanston learn that unions are not your friend, unless you’re a Democratic Politician.

    1. Unions are the only friend
      Unions are the only friend you have. I for one, appreciate not having worked as a child, healthcare provided by my employer, a minimum wage, family/medical leave, and shorter working hours / weekends off, among other protections. If the price I pay for those things is slightly higher taxes (though relatively low compared to other developed countries), so be it. Teachers are underpaid as it is, at least the benefits are going to people that deserve it. Everyone wants to be angry, find someone to blame. That’s not productive. Run for office. Support bipartisan candidates/legislation, propose solutions. Pensions are just one piece, and they’re not going away. So focus on how to deal with that. Raising taxes is a part of the solution.

      1. Not so much; not so fast

        My kid’s Kindergarten teacher earns $96K !  Not quite what I’d call “underpaid”.  Also, my taxes are going up 30%; wages only up 2.5%. I voted against the D-65 Confiscation and tried to educate people about the real problems (bloat, waste, fraud, silly programs, etx.)  Still getting bled dry.  

        1. Retirement income before 50

          I know that teachers work hard during the school year.  But so do many people–for 12 months a year.

          Teachers and administrators in the two Evanston school districts make very nice livings.  I do not begrudge them that as we expect top-quality teachers here. 

          But teachers are not firefighters or police officers who, due to physical demands of the job, routinely retire after 25 or 30 years.  Despite that difference, many teachers and administrators retire in the mid- to late 50s with full pension payments.  I know two teachers who retired this year after 30 years of teaching.  They are ecstatic, retiring in their mid-50s!  Time to enjoy life without punching a clock.

          But the rest of us who have no pension, we will have to keep working into our late 60s if we want full Social Security benefits.  We will have just the money that we put aside for retirement and Social Security (maybe).

          Pretty certain that this model is not sustainable.  The system should be as follows: teachers with a publicly-funded pension cannot get pension payments until they reach age 65.  If they want to retire earlier (say, age 62), payments are reduced, just like Social Security.  

          What if they want to retire earlier than 62?  More power to them if they have saved the money that they need to live until age 65.  Many people over 50 now cannot get full Social Security benefits until 66 and later.

          Unions would not like it but how is that system unfair?  Make the changes necessary now to implement it for future hires, at least.


          1. What does it take to make great students ?

            I was reminded that NU Math this year graduated a student with 4.0, Phi Betta Kappa and about every award possible and going to grad school at MIT next year. Four years ago her brother had the same honors.

            A K-12 or even high school like Evanston ? Hardley—town of 3500 with apparently no AP!

            Last year NU Math ‘graduated’ a student who had taken many/most undergrad math and graduate course. I say ‘graduated’ since she just finished high school—home schooled. Seems like a lot of towns/schools are ‘snowed’ into thinking BIG bucks and large school staffs are needed.  Yes they can add to the education but that is not the ‘key.’  Yes there are good teachers but alot is parents and self-drive.

  4. My property tax bill increased over 25%

    This is why longtime residents of Evanston are being forced to move. There is nothing that justifies a 25% increase in my housswing expense. It is not because I have done upgrades to my property that my property value increases. We are not getting substancial raises from our employers to cover this. Are we supposed to magically be able to afford this increase in one year? I appeal my taxes every year and have won my appeals the last 2 or three times but this is a major shock. I think my property taxes are back to where they were when the market crashed. If they increase like this next year I may have to say goodbye to my hometown after 44 years. This is heartbreaking!

  5. Tax increase

    We live on Sheridan south of main. Our tax bill went up by 62%, and our assessment went up by83%. I swear we would move but good old Cook county, and as far as I’m concerned the lack of care by our alderman our real value of our home just dropped by up to 20%. What am I supposed to do if my budget doesn’t allow for the increase!  And who the hell is going to move to Evanston at this point. We are totally screwed. I wish we never moved here and if anyone asks I will tell them to stay away. Btw my son has severe autism. He is four years old and we sent him to the public school last year. He got zero out of it!  I mean zero!  The teachers could give a shit!  My wife would walk into class and he would be sitting in a corner by himself. Mind you there were three teachers for four students. Sounds great right!  Total crap!  It’s all about lawyers and politics. I could go on for ever. I’m working with a lawyer to fight the assessment. Our increase was the worst case I have ever heard about. It’s a shame as we love the town of Evanston. Hopefully I can get help fixing this. We’ll see. 

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