March 1, 2023
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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 2019 (taxes payable in 2020) 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.
In Cook County, four of the 12 municipalities experienced an effective property tax rate decrease on residential property in tax year 2019 compared to the previous year. Ten of the 12 municipalities in Cook County experienced a decrease across all commercial property between tax year 2018 and 2019. Industrial effective property tax rates in the selected Cook County municipalities for which data were available increased over the two-year period.
There were not enough sales of industrial property in the Chicago assessment triad and South assessment triad in tax year 2019 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 2019 estimated effective tax rates for Cook County industrial properties in the North Triad (see Methodology).
In the collar counties, the effective property tax rate for all types of property increased across the majority of the selected municipalities between tax year 2018 and 2019, with the exception of Elk Grove Village (-0.4%), Aurora (-1.4%), Carpentersville (-1.3%), Fox Lake (-4.5%), Waukegan (-1.8%) and Peotone (-13.8%). The highest property tax rate increase over the two-year period among the collar counties is the City of Woodstock, which increased by 8.3% to 3.51% from 3.24% in 2018.
In the 10-year period between tax years 2010 and 2019, the effective tax rates for residential property decreased in all of the selected municipalities in Cook County, except for properties in Evanston, Chicago, Barrington and Chicago Heights. For commercial properties, the only municipalities whose effective tax rates increased were Chicago and Harvey. There were not enough sales of industrial property in tax years 2010 or 2019 in the South Triad to calculate an effective tax rate. In the collar counties effective tax rates for all types of property declined for the majority of the selected municipalities over the 10-year period examined. However, five municipalities in the collar counties saw an increase in their effective tax rates.
City of Chicago
- The City of Chicago had a residential effective tax rate of 1.77% in 2019, the lowest rate for residential property of the 12 selected Cook County municipalities. The rate increased from 1.76% the prior year;
- The City’s effective tax rate for commercial properties declined to 4.29% in 2019 from 4.42% the prior year. The City’s 2019 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 2019;
- Over the 10-year period between 2010 and 2019, the residential effective tax rate in Chicago increased by 2.7%, from 1.72% to 1.77% of full market value; and
- The commercial effective tax rate also increased by 1.4% between 2010 and 2019, from 4.23% to 4.29% of full market value.
Suburban Cook County: Selected Municipalities (11)
- Between 2018 and 2019 seven of the selected suburban Cook County municipalities experienced an increase in residential effective property tax rates while the other four saw decreases in residential effective tax rates over the two-year period examined;
- Harvey had the highest 2019 effective tax rates among the 11 selected suburban municipalities, at 6.49% for residential property and 16.74% for commercial property;
- Nine of the selected Cook County suburban municipalities experienced reductions in commercial effective tax rates between 2018 and 2019. Evanston had the largest decline, at 7.9%, followed by Harvey and Oak Park at 7.5% and 7.0%, respectively, over the two-year period;
- A majority of the selected suburban Cook County municipalities experienced a reduction in residential and commercial effective tax rates over the 10-year period between 2010 and 2019. The exceptions were residential properties in Chicago Heights, Barrington and Evanston and commercial properties in Harvey. As noted above, the Civic Federation was not able to calculate an effective tax rate for industrial properties in the South Triad in 2019. However, for the North Triad properties, every municipality experienced declining industrial property tax rates over the 10-year period;
- Among the selected suburban municipalities in the North Triad of Cook County, Elgin had the highest estimated effective industrial tax rate at 7.67% and the Villages of Glenview and Barrington had the lowest at 5.27%.
- All of the selected suburban municipalities in the North Triad of Cook County experienced decreases in industrial effective tax rates over the 10-year period. Evanston saw the largest decline by 14.3%, from 6.85% in 2010 to 5.87% in 2019. As previously noted, effective tax rates for industrial properties in Chicago and the South Triad could not be calculated because there were not enough sales of industrial property in tax year 2019 for the Illinois Department of Revenue to conduct a statistical analysis of assessment to sales ratios; and
Collar counties: Selected Municipalities (19)
- Woodstock had the highest effective tax rate among the 19 selected collar county municipalities in 2019 at 3.51%, which was an 8.3% increase from Woodstock’s 2018 effective tax rate and a 1.7% decrease from the 2010 effective tax rate of 3.57%;
- Oak Brook had the lowest 2019 effective property tax rate among the selected collar county municipalities at 1.14%, compared to 1.07% the prior year;
- Fourteen of the 19 selected collar county municipalities experienced increases in effective property tax rates between 2018 and 2019; and
- Over the 10-year period from 2010 to 2019, 15 of the 19 selected municipalities in the collar counties experienced reductions in effective tax rates. Waukegan’s effective tax rate declined 31.9%, from 5.15% in 2010 to 3.50% in 2019. Lake Forest saw the largest increase over the 10-year period, rising 14.5%, from 1.64% in 2010 to 1.88% in 2019.
 These overlapping municipalities were chosen to enable the reader to examine differentials in tax rates that occur in one community.
 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.
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