October 21, 2019
Effective property tax rates are a measure of property tax burden for homeowners and businesses. They translate the tax rates on property tax bills into rates that reflect the percentage of full market value that a property owed in taxes for a given year.
This report, produced annually by the Civic Federation, estimates the tax year 2017 (taxes payable in 2018) effective rates for Chicago and 28 other selected municipalities in northeastern Illinois. Of the municipalities, 12 are in Cook County (including Chicago) and 19 are in the collar counties. There are three municipalities included in the study that are located in two counties: Elgin overlaps Cook and Kane Counties, Elk Grove Village overlaps Cook and DuPage Counties and Naperville overlaps DuPage and Will Counties.
The map below shows effective property tax rates for residential properties in the selected municipalities in tax year 2017.
In Cook County, seven of the 12 municipalities experienced an effective property tax rate decrease on residential property in tax year 2017 compared to the previous year. Commercial property in Cook County experienced an increase across all but three of the selected municipalities – Oak Park, Orland Park and Chicago Heights – between tax year 2016 and 2017. Industrial effective property tax rates in the Cook County municipalities for which data were available also declined over the two-year period.
There were not enough sales of industrial property in the Chicago assessment triad in tax year 2017 for the Illinois Department of Revenue to conduct a statistical analysis of assessment to sales ratios. As a result, the Civic Federation was only able to calculate the 2017 estimated effective tax rates for Cook County industrial properties in the North and South Triads, not the Chicago Triad (see Methodology). This is the first year the Illinois Department of Revenue has been able to calculate a median level of assessment for industrial properties in the south and southwest suburbs of Cook County since 2009.
In the collar counties, the effective property tax rate for all types of property decreased across the majority of the selected municipalities between tax year 2016 and 2017, with the exception of the City of Lake Forest, the Village of Romeoville, and the Village of Buffalo Grove, which increased 4.1%, 2.0%, and 1.0%, respectively, over the two-year period.
In the ten-year period between tax years 2008 and 2017, the effective tax rates increased in all of the selected municipalities in Cook County and the collar counties, except industrial properties in the City of Chicago. There were not enough sales of industrial property in tax year 2017.
City of Chicago
- The City of Chicago had an effective residential tax rate of 1.74% in 2017, the lowest of the 12 selected Cook County municipalities for residential properties. The rate increased from 1.69% the prior year.
- The City’s effective tax rate for commercial properties increased to 3.98% in 2017, up from 3.61% the prior year. The City’s 2017 commercial rate was the lowest effective tax rate of the 12 selected Cook County municipalities. As noted above, the Civic Federation was not able to calculate an effective tax rate for industrial properties in Chicago in 2017.
- Over the ten-year period between 2008 and 2017, the residential effective tax rate in Chicago increased by 32.5% from 1.31% to 1.74% of full market value.
- The commercial effective tax rate increased by 69.3% between 2008 and 2017, from 2.35% to 3.98% of full market value.
Suburban Cook County: Selected Municipalities (11)
- All of the selected suburban Cook County municipalities experienced an increase in residential, commercial and industrial effective tax rates over the ten-year period between 2008 and 2017.
- Four of the selected suburban Cook County municipalities experienced an increase in effective property tax rates for residential properties between 2016 and 2017: Elk Grove Village, Arlington Heights, Harvey and Glenview. The remaining seven suburban municipalities saw decreases in effective residential rates over the two-year period examined.
- Harvey had the highest 2017 effective tax rates among the eleven selected suburban municipalities, at 7.08% for residential, 15.49% for commercial and 16.24% for industrial properties. In the 10 years from 2008 to 2017, Harvey’s estimated effective residential tax rate increased by 70.97%.
- Three of the eleven selected Cook County suburban municipalities experienced decreases in commercial effective tax rates between 2016 and 2017. Oak Park had the biggest decrease, of 15.8%, and Arlington Heights had the biggest increase, of 5.5%, over the two-year period.
- Among the suburban Cook County municipalities, Harvey had the highest estimated effective industrial tax rate at 16.24% and Barrington had the lowest at 4.64%.
- The suburban Cook County community with the highest estimated ten year increase in industrial tax rates was Elk Grove Village, whose effective rate increased by 42.4%, or from 4.14% in 2008 to 5.89% in 2017. All of the selected suburban municipalities experienced an increase in industrial effective tax rates over the ten-year period.
Collar Counties: Selected Municipalities (19)
- Waukegan had the highest effective tax rate among the 19 selected collar county municipalities in 2017 at 3.73%, which was a 3.9% decrease from Waukegan’s 2016 effective tax rate and a 13.7% increase from the 2008 effective tax rate of 3.28%.
- Oak Brook had the lowest 2017 effective property tax rate among the selected collar county municipalities at 1.03%, compared to 1.06% the prior year.
- All but three of the 19 selected collar county municipalities experienced decreases in effective property tax rates from 2016 to 2017. Buffalo Grove, Lake Forest and Romeoville saw increases.
- Over the ten-year period from 2008 to 2017, all 19 collar county selected municipalities experienced increases in effective tax rates. The largest increase occurred in Romeoville, an increase of 28.8% from 2.34% in 2008 to 3.01% in 2017. Naperville (in Will County) had the smallest increase over the ten-year period, rising by 7.2% from 2.21% in 2008 to 2.37% in 2017.
 These overlapping municipalities were chosen to enable the reader to examine differentials in tax rates that occur in one community.
 Cook County is divided into three districts (or “triads”) for the purpose of property assessment: City of Chicago, north/northwest suburbs and south/southwest suburbs. See the Appendix for a map of the Cook County reassessment districts.
 In this report, “residential” refers to Class 2 properties, which are single family homes, condominiums, cooperatives and apartment buildings of up to six units. Larger apartment buildings (Class 3) are not included for the purposes of this report. As discussed later in the report, the estimated residential rate is without homeowner exemptions, which would lower the rate.