The Modern Cook County Property Tax System
The Cook County property tax system has been known to be inconsistent. In the February 26, 2006 edition of the Chicago Tribune, then Assessor Houlihan described his assessment process as a “Mystical Maze”. At the time, it seemed that he was serious.
What makes Cook County’s tax system so unique is that internal procedures and legislation, designed to further confuse everyone, is constantly being proposed. The effect is to simply bounce the tax burden off of one group of unsuspecting taxpayers onto another group of unsuspecting taxpayers.
The Future Cook County Tax System
The property tax will continue to provide the bulk of local government funding. Future property tax increases will be in the form of more aggressive assessment increases and rate increases.
Meanwhile, revenue shortfalls will be made up via a greater reliance on the state income tax, state and local sales/use taxes, real estate transfer taxes, taxes on fuel, tobacco, alcohol, hotels, entertainment, the Internet, red light cameras, speeding cameras, leases, gambling, parking, tuition, marijuana, a local income tax and perhaps even an intangible tax. The possibilities are endless.
Excessive government spending is the only cause of high taxes. It is doubtful as to whether voters will ever directly confront the problem of excessive government spending until there is a catastrophic financial crisis.