Double-digit property tax increases i...

Double-digit property tax increases in city, Cook County suburbs

There are 9 comments on the WGN-TV Chicago story from Oct 27, 2009, titled Double-digit property tax increases in city, Cook County suburbs. In it, WGN-TV Chicago reports that:

Most Cook County residents are in for another round of sticker shock when new property tax bills arrive in the mail in a few days, with the median increase in many suburbs topping 10 percent and, in a handful, 20 percent.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WGN-TV Chicago.

Estella Mendez

Harvey, IL

#1 Oct 28, 2009
Mayor Daley needs to go already. He blames everybody but himself for his greediness. He knows the people are having a hard time making ends meet with no job and he has the nerve to raise taxes and blames everyone but himself, blame yourself Mr Daley. Get out of office and let someone with a real heart for the people run the City of Chicago. And take all your greedy partners and family members with you.
LENORE

AOL

#3 Nov 2, 2009
THIS PROPERTY TAX INCREASE IS NOT FAIR WHEN LIFE
IS SO BAD FOR SO MANY PEOPLE WHAT IS THE MAYOR
AND EVREY ONE ELESE THINKING DO I LOOK LIKE I HAVE
MONEY YOU DONT EVEN KNOW MY BILLS AND WE ARE
BOTH UNIMPLOYED NO ONE CARES
JUST RINGEM DRY UNTILL WE DIE
John

United States

#4 Nov 2, 2009
From October 2008, on the roles of Houlihan and Mike Madigan, and the phaseout of the cap:

Yes, in 2007, after months of wrangling, the state legislature passed a bill that hiked the home owner's exemption, and Governor Blagojevich signed it into law. The law was a big deal because the property tax you pay is essentially determined by multiplying the tax rate by the assessed value of your home and then subtracting the home owner's exemption. In other words, the higher the exemption the less you pay.

But at the insistence of House speaker Michael Madigan, the relief provided in the law was watered down. Cook County assessor James Houlihan and Senate president Emil Jones wanted to raise the exemption to $40,000. Madigan successfully insisted that it only be bumped up to $33,000, which is what was applied to your last tax bill. It fell to $26,000 for this tax bill, and next year it'll drop to $20,000, the same as it was four years ago.

Madigan said he limited the exemption to make sure rich people in north-side mansions don't get too much of a property tax break. Of course, by limiting the home owner's exemption he essentially gave a tax break to commercial property owners, including the big boys and girls downtown. That's because you have to think of our property tax levy—that is, all the money our governments spend—as a big barrel the city and county fill with cash. The more the home owners put in, the less the commercial property owners have to put in. The government doesn't really care who pays what so much as the money fills the barrel. But if it makes you feel any better, the commercial property owners are complaining about their recent tax bills too.

From November 2007, more on Madigan and the push-and-pull between homeowners and commercial property owners over property taxes:

The state allows residential property owners to claim a home owner's deduction of as much as $40,000 a year. It's a good deal for residents, provided they get around to filing for the exemption—thousands do not. But it's a source of vexation to the owners of commercial and industrial buildings and apartment complexes, because what the home owners get out of paying they have to pony up instead.

Still, they're not exactly defenseless. Both residential and commercial property owners can appeal their assessments to the assessor's office and/or the Cook County Board of Review.

This year, after hearing the appeal from Madigan's firm, the board lowered the Hancock's assessment from roughly $64.8 million to $53.5 million, a cut that will save Shorenstein about $4.8 million over the next three years.(Its last bill was for $3.5 million.) For another Madigan client, the 61-story AT&T Building at 227 W. Monroe, the board cut the assessment from $116.5 million to $105 million; its owners figure to save about $4.9 million over the next three years. Madigan's firm also represents the Citicorp Center at 500 W. Madison, which it saved $3.4 million, and the Prudential Plaza, which it saved about $6 million.

With his law practice, Madigan may have more influence on Cook County property taxes than any politician in the state. He's the legislative power people must court when they want the home owner's exemption extended or raised. When he does use his influence to hike the home owner's exemption, his commercial business booms as clients like the Hancock and Prudential hire him to appeal their assessments. Meanwhile, grateful home owners give him and his cohorts their votes. Any way you look at it, Madigan wins.
Michael

Alpharetta, GA

#5 Nov 3, 2009
I am tired of hearing all the whining about my property taxes going up. The people of cook county continue to elect liberal democrats to office and then are shocked to learn that their taxes are going up. 2 + 2 = 4
deommorons

AOL

#6 Nov 4, 2009
KEEP VOTING FOR THE DEMOCRATS ,...I HOPE YOU LIKE TAXES ,.......THE WELFAIR CLASS NEEDS MORE OF YOUR MONEY !
fed up with politicians

Elmwood Park, IL

#7 Nov 4, 2009
why don't these dirtbags in office volunteer to have their salaries cut? i'm sure they can afford to have one less vacation or one less yacht. why are struggling families always the ones who have to make sacrifices when these politicians screw up the economy? doesn't anyone have any compassion for the every day working stiff anymore?
THE NEW PLAN MAN

Franklin Park, IL

#8 Nov 5, 2009
LETS LOOK AT AWAY TO GET SOMETHING ON THE BALLOT, THAT LIMITS OR CAPS THE AMOUNT THAT CAN BE INCREASED ON ILLINOIS PROPERTY TAXES, WITHOUT A VOTER?CITIZENS REVIEW AND VOTE. THERES AN OPEN CHECKBOOK TOO LONG AND INCREASED TAXES IS ALWAYS THE SCAPEGOAT FOR OVER SPENDING AND LACK OF PLANNING?
Democracy

Downers Grove, IL

#9 Nov 5, 2009
Michael wrote:
I am tired of hearing all the whining about my property taxes going up. The people of cook county continue to elect liberal democrats to office and then are shocked to learn that their taxes are going up. 2 + 2 = 4
Yeah you're right it's all democrats, dumb hillbilly
czyemmt

Kansas City, MO

#10 Nov 6, 2009
In an era where the private sector is tightening all strings in an effort to survive through layoffs, concessions and cost cutting. Cook County goverment,public schools and all of it's employees go on as if they are entitled not to follow suit only to push all short comings to the tax payer. $5,000 tax bills do not leave much room for contributing to economy and with 60 to 70% going to public schools who employ niche teaching to pump up their scores can't compare at a cost to education ratio with private schools. All parties should be ashamed, because they would not be able to hold a job in the any other non goverment forum.

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