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New TIF districts coming to Porter County

Doug Ross Oct 9, 2021 Updated Oct 9, 2021

The proposed South Haven Industrial Park at the northwest corner of Ind. 149 and U.S. 6 is zoned for light industrial use. “It’s probably going to be the largest industrial park with vacant land in the north end of the county,” consultant Stu Summers said.

The county’s Redevelopment Commission and Plan Commission approved resolutions in quick succession recently following a presentation by consultant Stu Summers.

The proposed South Haven TIF is by far the largest, with about 870 acres of commercial and industrial land on the north end of South Haven.

The Cherokee Trail TIF would have 95 acres at the southeast corner of Ind. 49 and County Road 150 South, with the Family Express bakery at its southern border.

The TIF districts would have a 25-year lifespan.

A TIF district is set up to encourage redevelopment or development, creating jobs in the process, Summers explained. The existing tax base would go to the taxing districts already getting revenue from the property. While the TIF is in place, any additional tax revenue from that land would go toward the Redevelopment Commission for use in providing infrastructure in and adjacent to the TIF districts.

The South Haven TIF would include an industrial park proposed for the northwest corner of Ind. 149 and U.S. 6. “It’s probably going to be the largest industrial park with vacant land in the north end of the county,” Summers said.

Currently, the property generates taxes of $2,318. Fully built out in 25 years, it would bring a projected $832,160 in taxes, he said.

Industrial park boost?
The property owner has tried to make a go of an industrial park there in the past, but lenders have rejected the idea. With the prospect of a TIF, lenders are now attentive, Summers told the Redevelopment Commission at a previous meeting.

“South Haven is the largest unincorporated area in Indiana,” Summers said, and has a high poverty rate.

The Cherokee Trail project generates $2,654 in taxes currently. Fully built out, it would generate $165,140, he said.

TIF districts are complicated financial instruments. School referendums allow districts to capture some of the increase in taxes that would ordinarily go to the Redevelopment Commission for infrastructure work. When the TIF expires, the Redevelopment Commission loses that revenue stream and other local taxing districts feast on the bounty.

The County Council can grant tax abatements for projects inside the TIF, the same as for projects elsewhere, Summers said.

County Surveyor Kevin Breitzke said the Redevelopment Commission could use the TIF revenue to expand utility service like sewers, water lines and broadband to benefit areas near the TIF. That could include three mobile home parks that have private sewage treatment plants. Hooking them up to public treatment plants would be better for the environment, he said.

TIF Accounts Replenished

More Than $1B in Chicago Property Tax Revenues Claimed by TIF Funds in 2020: Report

(WTTW News)(WTTW News)

More than $1 billion in property tax revenues flowed into Chicago’s tax increment finance districts in 2020, reaching an all-time high, according to a report by Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough.

Demolishing the record set the previous year, $1.05 billion poured into the city’s 132 TIF funds in 2020, 13.6% more than in 2019, according to the clerk’s report.

That accounts for approximately 38% of the nearly $2.74 billion in property tax revenue banked by city officials. In 2019, 36% of the city’s property tax revenue ended up in a TIF district.

The growing share of city property taxes sent to TIF districts has fueled a perennial argument over whether the districts, which capture all growth in the property tax base in a designated area for 23 years, actually spur redevelopment and eradicate blight or serve to exacerbate growing inequality in Chicago.

The burst of additional TIF revenue will ease the city’s budget crisis by allowing Mayor Lori Lightfoot to declare $271.6 million in TIF funds to be in surplus, sending $67 million to the city’s corporate fund and $150 million to the Chicago Public Schools, with the remaining amount heading to other taxing districts.

Lightfoot’s 2022 spending plan calls for $25 million from city’s TIF surplus to help fill the budget shortfall.

That represents a drop from the city’s 2021 spending plan, which declared a TIF surplus of $304 million. That sent $76.2 million back to the city’s corporate fund, and the city used $33.5 million to cover a portion of the 2021 budget shortfall.

The transit TIF district formed by the city in the waning days of the Obama administration to fund the renovation of the CTA’s Red and Purple train lines is the city’s highest-grossing TIF, according to the report.

The transit TIF generated approximately $150 million in 2020, an increase of 17% from 2019.

While campaigning for mayor in 2019, Lightfoot vowed to reform the city’s TIF program and craft “rigorous standards that eradicate waste and abuse and ensure investments in economically distressed neighborhoods.”

New rules announced by Lightfoot in February 2020 were designed to limit the city’s ability to use funds from Chicago’s TIF districts to subsidize private development.

The city Department of Planning and Development now must conduct a robust “but-for” analysis before private applicants get TIF funds. The idea behind the test is to determine whether the development would not occur without a subsidy.

State law requires cities to conduct the test to determine whether development within a proposed TIF district would not take place unless the district is established. Lightfoot’s rule calls for that analysis for individual projects that request a TIF subsidy.

In addition, a committee is charged with determining whether to approve requests for TIF funds will “center equity in its decision making,” according to the mayor’s office.

In suburban Cook County, property tax revenue claimed by TIFs rose approximately 6.8%, according to the clerk’s report.

Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | (773) 569-1863 | hcherone@wttw.com

Lightfoot Budget Critique

What happens when the money’s gone?

The big takeaway from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s 2022 budget plan, which she delivered to the City Council in a passionate, one-hour address Monday, is what happens next year?

What happens when the $1.9 billion in federal Covid relief funding isn’t around to keep the “big, bold audacious” plans going?

A highlight of Lightfoot’s budget plan includes $31.5 million in monthly payments to low-income residents “in need of additional economic stability” in what she described as a “first-of-its-kind pilot in Chicago” and possibly the largest of its kind in the country.

Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th) was stunned that the mayor’s proposal mirrors the guaranteed basic income ordinance that he has been pushing for the past six months without support from Lightfoot. “Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, but I don’t like our work being plagiarized. No es Bueno,” he told Playbook.

A spokeswoman for the mayor’s office told us: “We’re glad to work with Chairman Villegas and other champions of direct cash programs to advance this historic policy.”

Next, aldermen will debate and discuss the plan before voting. “We have questions about some of the new initiatives, but I think it’s supporting people who need the most coming out of the pandemic and that’s the intent of the federal dollars,” Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) said.

And Ald. Ray Lopez (15th), often a critic of Lightfoot’s initiatives, said “We’re seeing policies resurrected from previous administrations, where you borrow and get by until it’s someone else’s problem.”

Lightfoot’s plan has no layoffs and there isn’t a big burden on taxpayers — a relief, says Ald. Derrick Curtis. He expects discussions in the coming weeks to focus on spending on initiatives. “We can’t keep putting the funds in the same place and look for different results.”

The proposal addresses various areas of public safety, including an 11 percent increase in spending for the Chicago Police Department and $135 million funding of violence prevention. Some progressives “quickly criticized” the mayor’s decision to increase police spending, reports WBEZ’s Mariah Woelfel.

The plan also allots $86 million for mental health services, $202 million to reduce homelessness, and $150 million for youth programming.

The savings, according to Lightfoot: $131 million from “improved fiscal management,” $25 million by “sweeping” old accounts, $21.6 million in health care savings, $46.2 million in lower-than-expected costs from the just-negotiated police contract, and $62.6 million from “improved revenue projections.”

As the Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman reports: “Once again, the mayor’s plan to eliminate her own budget shortfall includes offloading costs to Chicago Public Schools. This time, CPS will be asked to cover $75 million in pension costs for school administrators who draw their retirement checks from the Municipal Employees Pension Fund.”

Some good news: There’s a surplus of $271 million in tax increment financing funds, and CPS will see $150 million of that, while another $67 million will go to the city’s corporate fund.

Tribune’s Gregory Pratt and John Byrne remind: “Chicago’s structural deficit will also continue to grow in 2022 because of state-imposed requirements for the city to increase funding for its pension funds.”

“The devil is in the details,” said Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th). “We just got the budget book and detailed proposals and we’re going line by line to assess if this is the investment plan our community needs.”

Between the big federal windfall and the lack of a property tax hike, the mayor’s budget plan is expected to have an easier go than last year’s proposal, which passed the council on a 29 to 21 vote and included a $94 million property tax hike.

Lightfoot’s goal: ‘a safer, strong and more prosperous city’ via Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman

2022 Budget Overview (all 212 pages), from the mayor’s office

American Rescue Plan Local Fiscal Recovery Fund Detail, from the mayor’s office.

Cook County Treasurer Announces Tax Sale

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas will conduct the first sale in more than two years of delinquent Cook County property taxes on Nov. 5, 2021.

About $163.4 million in unpaid 2018 property taxes (that were to be paid in 2019) is due on 36,000 homes, businesses and land. Less than $1,000 is owed on 11,744 properties in Chicago and 7,700 properties in suburban Cook County.

Pappas is sending owners of those properties a certified mailing informing them that their unpaid taxes are scheduled to be sold, which would put a lien against their properties. It is the first step in a process that can end with the loss of a property.

Market prognostications from top Chicago developers


It has been a “full speed ahead” start for industrial real estate so far this year, which is largely a result of the pent-up demand caused by the major pandemic-induced pause in 2020. We figured it would be as good a time as any to check in with several of the top developers in Chicago to see what their thoughts are going forward, asking each the same three questions.

That is the first of a two-part series, so keep an eye out next month for additional insight from these industry leaders.

What are your prognostications for the real estate markets in 2021 and 2022?

Mike Yungerman, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Opus Development Company: The speculative construction boom will continue, but sites are more difficult to find and entitle today. Steel and precast lead times continue to push out. Because of that I don’t see us hitting the spec space numbers we saw in the 2008-‘09 peaks. Class A rents will continue to grow at a modest pace, primarily due to increased construction pricing. With Class A rents rising, the gap in rents compared to second generation space and Class B product is widening. This could steer more tenants toward second generation spaces and slow down the absorption velocity in new product.

Neal Driscoll, Midwest Region Partner of Dermody Properties:  We continue to see a ton of growth ahead across the entire country. Efforts to improve the supply chain and logistics efficiencies will continue to increase demand for highly functional infill locations as well as on the periphery of major metropolitan areas. This is true of both primary and secondary markets.

Jeff Lanaghan, Senior Vice President & Partner, Midwest Region of CRG: We expect the industrial space to stay robust for the near term as tenants continue to rethink their supply chain logistics. Amazon will continue to be a huge consumer of industrial product and many of their competitors will try to close the gap.

Don Schoenheider, Senior Vice President & Market Leader, Midwest Region of Hillwood: With strong user demand, continued low interest rates, and capital continuing to look for opportunities in the industrial space, we don’t expect much change over the next couple of years.

Susan Bergdoll, Vice President of Leasing & Development of Duke Realty: While the end of the pandemic is in sight thanks to mass vaccinations, we do not see the demand for well-located high quality logistics space waning anytime soon. Customer and market share gained by e-commerce companies will not be lost. All retailers and consumer products companies are investing hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade their logistics facilities and supply chain networks across the country. Chicago’s supply and demand have remained in check for the past couple of years. We remain hyper-vigilant of the market pace. We are prepared for changing market dynamics and an increase in demand for more conveniently located logistics facilities and last-mile e-commerce distribution centers.

Matt Goode, Principal of Venture One Real Estate: We have observed two major drivers of value in industrial over the past 12 to 36 months that we believe will continue to push values upward in the coming years. First, there is a lack of supply of functional industrial space, driven by increased demand from e-commerce users and a lack of high-quality sites to build new product. As a result, we have seen low vacancy rates and strong rental rate growth. Second, investor demand has never been greater for industrial. This is the result of strong performance within the asset class and poor performance in competing asset classes such as office and retail.   Because industrial values are lower than office and retail, investor demand has outpaced supply, and driven prices upwards.

With record high rents and record low cap rates, we are seeing values for industrial that are shattering prior high-water marks. We believe this will continue in 2021 and into 2022.

Tony Pricco, President & Partner of Bridge: The real estate market will continue to be made up of the haves and have-nots. Industrial, specifically well-located warehouse/distribution facilities, will continue to thrive as e-commerce continues to grow. Amazon will continue to lead all users in absorption nationally, but we assume other major retailers will get into the mix as well this year.

Part 2 of the “Industrial Insider” will feature the developers’ perspectives on these two additional questions: What’s Hot and What’s Not, and What are the biggest challenges the industry faces in 2021. Stay well and stay tuned for Part 2!


A Call for Municipal Pension Reform

Where is all the Money Going?

Property taxes keep going up, but services aren’t improving. Paying more and getting less is a trend that residents want to see reversed.

Real estate agent Andrew Carlin knows Illinois’ property tax math all too well. He not only makes his living helping people buy and sell homes, he’s also a homeowner.

He purchased his 1,000-square-foot home in Lake County in 2016. Back then, the annual property taxes were about $2,500. The next year his bill jumped to $4,500. By 2021, Carlin’s property taxes hit $7,000.

“In Lake County, the property tax amount is a major driving factor in affordability and a buyer’s decision on purchasing a home,” Carlin said.

“We love where we live, not because of the municipal services, but because we grew up here and our families are here. We’re on the edge of selling and moving to a different community or a different township or a different county that has less government bodies that are funded by property taxes. That means going over the border right now to Wisconsin or potentially going to McHenry County in an unincorporated area.”

So where is property tax money going?

The reality is that tax dollars are getting diverted away from the things people value – like schools and public safety – and being spent on public pensions instead. Total residential property taxes in Lake County have increased 122% from 1999-2019 (51% when adjusted for inflation).

Only 19 percent of municipal property tax dollars raised for fire departments is spent on protecting the community from fires. Residents saw funding to fire departments cut by $1.3 million while funding for fire pensions increased by $13.8 million from 1999 to 2019.

The pension crowd-out problem is the same for police departments. From 1999 to 2019, Lake County property taxpayers spent an additional $32.2 million on police, but pensions consumed a vast majority of these funds. About 84 cents of every additional property tax dollar for municipal police departments in Lake County – more than $27 million – went to pensions rather than police protective services.

People like Carlin love Illinois. It’s home. So it’s disheartening to see people fleeing, either because they’re forced out because their home is becoming unaffordable or they’re losing confidence that Illinois is a place where they can prosper long term.

“I’m used to a business where I’m helping clients sell their starter home or their forever home, and buy their move-up home or downsize home,” Carlin said. “The last nine months have been the most odd as far as the amount of people selling their home and not buying, which means they’re selling and leaving for other states.”

This is a huge problem for Illinois and one that politicians must fight to reverse. And the change has to come from Springfield.

Pension reform is the only way to make sure property taxes don’t spike again year after year as the cost of public retirements continues to grow out of control.

The Illinois Policy Institute has proposed a constitutional amendment that would protect what workers and pensioners have already earned while controlling the growth in future benefits. That amendment was filed in the General Assembly in 2020 as House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 38, but was not voted on or even debated in a committee hearing, in part because the legislative session was cut short by COVID-19.

Recent polling from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute found 51% of Illinoisans support “an amendment to the Illinois Constitution that would preserve state retirement benefits already earned by public employees but would also allow a reduction in the benefits earned in the future, whether by current or future employees.”

Lawmakers have the will of the people when it comes to getting pensions under control. Now it’s time they find the will to do what’s right and tackle pension reform.

Nashville, Tenn. Reverses Property Tax Increase

Nashville Mayor: Property tax to be cut ‘significantly’ to where it was 2 years ago

 Nashville Mayor John Cooper (FOX 17 News)<p>{/p}

Downtown Nashville skyline photo (FOX 17 News)
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Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced Friday that property tax will be “cut back significantly” – roughly in line to where it was two years ago.

Nashville’s 34% property tax increase in 2020 was a source of debate and led to a petition calling for a vote on the tax hike by citizens.

So how can the property tax be reverted to roughly the same rate from before the tax hike?

Mayor Cooper joined FOX 17 News to explain:

“The assessment letters are going to show a dramatic increase in values and so it’s only fair for people to understand that that’s going to allow us to push the tax rate way back.”

He cited growth and stewardship for the reasons Nashville will be able to go back to its old tax rate.

“In the meantime, we were able to solve insolvency. We were able to pay our policeman and our teachers,” Cooper said. “We got through the year 2020, which is so much crises, with a stable city that was able to finance itself.”

Meanwhile, Mark Cunningham, spokesman and vice president of communication and strategy for Beacon Center of Tennessee, said it’s something that was going to happen anyway.

“Its an enormous PR blunder,” Cunningham said. “This is something that had to happen anyway. He didn’t cut any taxes and for him to take credit, he actually said he’d reversed the 34% tax increase. I don’t know where his head was but it was intentionally misleading.”

Tax Year 2020 – Property Tax Bill Analysis by Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas

Tax Year 2020 – Property Tax Bill Analysis

The Cook County Treasurer’s Office conducted an analysis of nearly 1.8 million property tax bills based on the second and final round of billing for this year.

The total amount billed countywide for 2020 — to be collected this year — is more than $16.1 billion. That’s an annual increase of $534 million, or more than 3.4%.

The office’s analysis, the first of its kind under Treasurer Maria Pappas, found that the bigger tax burden is not being shared equally:

  • Commercial and industrial property owners overall face bigger tax bill increases than homeowners. The total billed to business properties was more than $7 billion, an increase of $410 million, or 6.2%. The amount billed to homeowners is $8.9 billion, an increase of $114 million, or 1.3%.
  • But homeowners in several suburbs — where local elected leaders increased the overall amount taxed — are being billed far more than last year. In Bellwood, the median residential tax bill is $1,868 higher than last year, representing a 45% increase. In Maywood, the median residential tax bill is $1,543, which is 32% higher than last year.
  • Property owners in many south suburbs continue to pay far more in taxes than landowners in other parts of the county, and in some of those towns, taxes went up again this year. The owner of a property in several of those south suburban communities will pay three to five times as much in annual taxes as the owner of an equally valued property in Chicago.In what has become an all-too-familiar story, majority Black and Latino communities are being hardest hit with property tax increases. That’s true for both homeowners and businesses in those areas.Majority Black and Latino communities make up six of the top 10 areas with the largest tax increases for homeowners and seven of the top 10 increases for commercial properties.

    For instance, the total amount of taxes billed to homeowners climbed 20.1% in south suburban Robbins, 13.8% in west suburban Cicero and 12% in west suburban Stone Park. Commercial taxes climbed 23.1% in Posen, 21.9% in Park Forest and 21.8% in Flossmoor, all south suburbs.

    South suburban Ford Heights, one of the nation’s poorest communities, has the unfortunate distinction of being both in the top 10 for the highest increase in residential property taxes, with an 18.1% increase, and in commercial property taxes, with a 42% increase.

    Ford Heights and several south suburban communities continue to face some of the highest tax rates in the nation — a persistent problem that contributes to businesses and residents leaving the


economically struggling, mostly minority region that often places outsized burdens on the remaining homeowners. The high tax burden also makes it very difficult to attract new businesses.

In Chicago, the median residential tax bill held steady, declining by $1.63. As a result, roughly half of city homeowners are getting lower bills, while the rest will see increases.

But those numbers differed widely from ward to ward. In several South Side, downtown, Near North Side and Near West Side wards, there were far more residential tax increases than reductions. More than 13,500 homeowners across the city face increases of $1,000 or more.

The median residential tax bill in more than 50 suburbs — a little less than a third of the municipalities in the county — also declined. A median tax bill is the one at the midpoint of a group, meaning there are an equal number of bills that are higher and an equal number of bills that are lower.

Residential to Commercial Shift

Across Cook County, the overall tax burden continues to shift, with commercial and industrial property owners generally seeing far bigger increases in their bills than homeowners due to changes in how properties are valued for tax purposes.

Those property valuations, conducted by the Cook County Assessor’s Office, determine what portion of the overall tax burden is paid by each individual property owner. The Assessor’s Office last year reassessed all properties in the suburbs south of North Avenue. It also adjusted the values of many properties in the rest of the county, citing the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on property values.

The COVID adjustments reduced the value of all residential properties in the city and north and northwest suburbs by about 10%. That was before it became clear that single-family home values would rise during the pandemic. Not all commercial properties were given COVID reductions.

The upshot: In the south and southwest suburbs, the total value of commercial property increased more than the total value of residential properties; in the rest of the county, the total value of residential properties decreased more than those of commercial properties. In each case, that results in commercial property owners picking up a bigger portion of the overall tax burden.

How are Property Taxes Determined?

▪ School districts, municipalities, park districts and other local governments set the levy, or the overall amount of taxes to be collected to pay for their operations.

▪ The assessor estimates the value of properties, and sets homeowner exemptions, which are then used to determine what portion of the overall tax bill each property owner pays.

▪ The clerk determines the tax rates, based on the levies and overall assessed value in each local government. The assessed value, multiplied by the rate, needs to equal the total levy.

▪ The treasurer sends out the bills, collects the money and distributes it to the local governments that set the levies in the first place.



As a result, the 2020 tax bills show that owners of commercial and industrial properties will pick up slightly more of the overall property tax burden in Cook County than they did last year — a shift that will result in a minimal tax increase or even a tax reduction for many homeowners.

Specifically, 1.5% of the tax burden in the south and southwest suburbs was transferred from residential to business properties, compared with a 1.1% shift from residential to commercial in the north and northwest suburbs and a 1.3% shift from residential to commercial in the City of Chicago.

The general trends don’t mean all businesses were hit with bigger bills or all homeowners got a reduction or held steady. That’s because other factors besides assessments can affect the amount of the final tax bill.

In some communities, the shift in tax burden was not as pronounced because of the types of the businesses in the area. Some properties might have been improved, or become vacant, causing significant swings in individual assessments.

$14,000 $12,000 $10,000

$8,000 $6,000 $4,000 $2,000

Median Property Taxes – Countywide (Tax Year 2001 – Tax Year 2020)

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2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

Tax Year

Commercial Residential

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South and Southwest Suburbs

In many south suburbs, officials for years have expressed concern about maintaining vibrant business communities — or any businesses at all — given the ability of businesses to move across the border to Indiana or Will County, where businesses are taxed at lower rates.

The 18 highest Cook County tax rates, which are multiplied by a property’s assessed value to determine how much a property owner pays, are in the south suburbs. Park Forest tops the list, with tax rates almost five times as high as Chicago’s, followed by Phoenix, Riverdale, Harvey, Markham, Ford Heights, Calumet City, Country Club Hills and Hazel Crest — all with tax rates three or more times higher than Chicago’s.


Average Tax Rate





















0.0% 5.0%

10.0% 15.0%

20.0% 25.0%

30.0% 35.0%


That means a homeowner in Park Forest, where the rate increased this year, would pay about five times as much in property taxes as the owner of an equally valued home in Chicago. Homeowners in the other suburbs in the top five for tax rates would pay at least three times as much as a Chicago counterpart, even though all of their rates declined slightly this year as assessed values in those communities were increased.


That disparity is especially hard for businesses to withstand. The owner of a business property pays at least two-and-a-half times as much as the owner of an equally valued residential property.

Businesses face higher taxes in Cook County because commercial and industrial properties are valued for tax purposes at 25% of full market value. Homes are valued at 10% and their owners typically receive exemptions — tax reductions designed to ease the burden on homeowners. In the rest of the state, homes and businesses are assessed at the same rate of 33.3%.

Every time high taxes cause a business to decide to move or call it quits, the resulting loss in tax collections shifts to remaining property owners, residential and business alike. That has contributed to outsized tax rates in many Cook County communities.

This year, some of that oversized burden is being transferred from homeowners to business property owners because of the new assessments.

Residences this year accounted for 68.9% of the total amount of assessed value in the south and southwest suburbs, compared with 70.4% a year earlier. Conversely, the share of the tax burden borne by business land owners rose to 31% from 29.6%.

In total, homeowners in the south and southwest suburbs are being billed 2.9% more this year than last year, while commercial and industrial landowners are being billed 7.2% more.

The median 2020 residential tax bill in the region is $4,297, an increase of $305, or 6.6%. The median commercial bill is $14,834, an increase of $894, or 6.4%. But those figures vary greatly from one school district to another or one municipality to another.

In Bloom and Rich townships, which both border Will County, residential property values declined while commercial values increased.

In Bloom Township, which includes all or parts of Ford Heights, Chicago Heights, Sauk Village, South Chicago Heights, Park Forest and Glenwood, the median business property tax rose by $1,459 to $12,563. The median residential tax bill declined by $117 to $3,321.

In Rich Township, which includes all or portions of Matteson, Olympia Fields, Flossmoor and Richton Park, the median business property tax bill rose by $3,895 to $33,075. The median residential tax bill declined by $114 to $5,518.

The shift, however, does not mean all homeowners get a break and all business owners get hit harder. While more than 201,000, or 46%, of the homeowners in the region will get a tax reduction this year, nearly 224,000, or 51%, will see an increase and the rest will see no change or are newly constructed homes being taxed for the first time. About one third of 32,356 business properties will see a reduction in their bill, while about two thirds will face increases.

Property owners in many western suburbs in this region where tax levies rose will see significant increases. Eleven out of the 12 suburbs where homeowners will see the biggest increases in the median tax bill are in those suburbs listed in the table on the next page.


Median Residential Tax Bills



Tax Year 2020

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Tax Year 2019


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Stone Park

















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North Riverside












North and Northwest Suburbs

Last year, all Cook County suburbs north of North Avenue underwent their regularly scheduled reassessments, and 2.3% of the property tax burden was shifted from residential to business properties.

This year, the areas was not reassessed. But with the COVID adjustments, more than 1.1% of the burden was shifted from residential to business properties. Residential property owners will pay about 63.9% of the overall tax burden in the north and northwest suburbs, down from 65.1% a year earlier. The tax burden on businesses grew to 36% this year from 34.9% last year.

Overall, homeowners are being billed 0.3% more than they were last year, while businesses are being billed 5.2% more. The median residential tax bill this year is $6,015, a decrease of $26, or 0.4%. The median commercial tax bill is $27,651, an increase of $2,026 or 7.9%.

Although the median tax bills on homes in the North Triad are generally going down by small amounts, Northfield Township — where the amount of taxes authorized by local leaders went up — the median residential tax bill is $9,266, an increase of $458.

In the north and northwest suburbs, 81% of 21,979 business property owners will receive higher bills than they did last year. Meanwhile, 51% of more than 195,000 homeowners will receive higher bills.




The Assessor’s Office is reassessing the city of Chicago this year, which will affect next year’s tax bills. Nevertheless, the COVID adjustments resulted in a shift of the burden from residential to commercial.

About 1.3% of the tax burden shifted this year from residential to commercial. Business properties accounted for 47.6% of assessed value, up from 46.2%. Residential properties accounted for 52.5% of all assessed value, down from 53.8%. Overall, commercial and industrial landowners are being billed 6.3% more this year while homeowners are being billed 1% more.

The median residential tax bill in Chicago is $3,341, down by $1.63, or .05%. The median commercial tax bill is $9,659, an increase of $761, or 8.6%.

This year, more than 343,000 homeowners, or 48%, get a tax reduction, while more than 358,000, or 50%, get a tax increase; the rest did not see a change or live in newly constructed homes being taxed for the first time. Less than 9,000, or 14%, of business property owners get a tax decrease, while more than 58,000, or 84%, are being billed more than they were last year.

Whether there were tax reductions or increases varies significantly from ward to ward. Attached is a chart to show those statistics.

Note: This analysis excludes vacant lots, not-for-profit owned properties, houses of worship, co- ops and buildings that have both business and residential uses that are not separately billed, all of which represent about $154 million of total taxes billed.


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