Cook County homeowners have yet to recover much of the home
value they lost after the 2007 housing market crash. But that hasn’t stopped
county homeowners’ property tax bills from climbing.
Average home prices in Cook County are 31% lower today than in 2007, adjusted
for inflation, according to the most recent data from the Federal Housing
Even though homes are worth less than they were prior to the Great Recession,
Cook County property tax bills have on average jumped by 22%, after adjusting
for inflation. Local homeowners felt this pain Aug. 1, when property tax bills
in Cook County came due.
Cook County’s poor housing recovery is a national outlier: While home prices
nationwide still have yet to return to their pre-recession peak, they are down
just 5% since 2007. To put Cook County’s housing plight in perspective, its
current decline in average home values is an alarming 500% worse than the nation
as a whole.[to top of second column]
The biggest factor driving rising property taxes?
Unsustainable growth in pension costs for government workers.
Pension liabilities have risen faster than taxpayers’ ability to
pay, forcing state and local governments to constantly scramble for
new sources of revenue – often in the form of property tax hikes.
This diminishes homeowners’ standard of living, and potentially
their home equity, while jeopardizing government workers’ retirement
With constitutional pension reform, Illinois can protect workers’
already-earned benefits while slowing the accrual of future benefits
not yet earned – and eliminate the need for endless property tax
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