Will Higher Assessments Lead to Higher Taxes?

Real estate assessments are being hiked by 8% in a lot of townships.

That has to be scaring people who don’t understand the property tax system.

There are two parts to the tax bill:

  • the assessment
  • the tax rate

On top of that is layered the Property Tax Cap, PTELL to the technocrats.

The Tax Cap puts a limit on how much more money–in the aggregate–that a tax district can get.

This coming year, it 7/10 of 1%.
tax-cap-cpi-1992-2015-payable-in-2016If the assessments in a township go up 8%, the tax rates will come down by almost that much.

So, unless your assessment is going up more than average, the increase in your tax bill will be about 7/10 of 1%.

That is so little that I predict that House Speaker Mike Madigan will agree to freeze taxes with Governor Bruce Rauner.

After all, Madigan made a much greater concession on behalf of the tax eaters he represents when he agreed to Governor Jim Edgar’s demand for the Real Estate Tax Cap.


Will Higher Assessments Lead to Higher Taxes? — 10 Comments

  1. Remember there are some exceptions to the property tax cap that can cause taxes to increase more than the tax cap.

    Many bond payments fall outside the tax cap.

    That’s one reason it is important to know the bond debt service schedule (including interest) for reach taxing district on the property tax bill.

    And it’s important to know the estimated bond debt service schedule (including interest and the estimated interest rate) when bond referendums or non – referendum working cash bonds are pitched to property taxpayers.

    The debt service schedule is the annual principal and interest payments to bondholders.

    Unlike a 15 or 30 year fixed rate mortgage, bond payment schedules often vary from year to year for various reasons.

    One reason is sometimes the taxing district pitches a lowball initial payment without explaining to voters the annual payment increases in future years.

    Another reason is to smooth taxpayer property tax payments as existing bonds are retired.


    Two McHenry County candidates for political office are campaigning to cut property taxes 10%.

    That would be great for taxpayers, but not so great for the unions that support them, which are a key to their re-election campaigns.

    That coupled with the fact that neither candidate will release details of such a plan prior to the election, not to mention many other issues, call into question how likely such a plan could succeed.

    Existing Bond debt service, collective bargaining agreements, and unfunded pension liabilities (taxpayer IOU to the pension fund) are three reasons it is very unlikely that property taxes can be cut 10% in all property taxing districts in McHenry County.

    If any property taxing district were able to cut their property taxes, and none have said they can do so much less presented a plan to do so, how sustainable is the cut.

    And over what time frame will the cut occur (one year to achieve 10% cut, 3 years to achieve 10% cut, etc.).

    Jack Franks refuses to present his plan to cut property taxes 10% until after the election.

    John Bartman also supports the proposal to cut property taxes 10%, and he has not revealed any details either.

    A County Board Chair position can’t vote on county board matters because it’s a non voting position.

    A State Representative (John Bartman is running for State Representative) position can’t vote on any property taxing district matters because a State Representative is a state position not a member of a local property taxing district board.


    One likely reason for Jack Franks Cut 10 campaign gimmick is that the McHenry County Board cut property taxes about 2.7% or so.

    So Democrat Jack Franks is trying to one up the Republican County Board.

    But Jack Franks refuses to present his plan how he would do that, until after the election, so voters cannot form an opinion on how likely the plan is to succeed, to make an informed voting decision.

    Even though he campaigned to make the county board chair an elected position, Jack Franks refused to debate at the League of Womens voter forum.

    Which calls into question Jack’s motivation for calling for the County Board Chair to be an elected position, and then running for that office.


    Northwest Herald

    June 6, 2016

    Franks Asks County for 2 Advisory Referendums

    by Kevin Craver

    “Franks made clear that he is not pushing for County Board changes as an effort to run for the chairman’s seat in two years, following the footsteps of former state senators Chris Lauzen and Dan Cronin, now chairman of the Kane and DuPage county boards.”

    ‘What I’m trying to do is reduce our property taxes in McHenry County and make it livable so people don’t leave,’ Franks said.

    ‘I can promise you I am not running for county chairman in 2016.

    This has nothing to do with me.

    This is about good government.'”



    The two referendums were:

    1. Prevent property tax increases if EAV falls.

    2. Reduce county board members from 24 to 16.

    Simultaneously, increase county board districts from 6 to 16.

    Thus, currently there are (6) districts with 4 members each.

    The proposal was for (16) districts with 1 member each.

    Neither proposal made it to an election ballot.

  2. A huge problem for Illinois taxpayers is the 3% COLA in Illinois public sector pensions.

    Just looking at the last 10 years CPI.

    The CPI was an average of 1.858%.

    The damage is done.

    Even if the COLA is modified somehow going forward for existing workers, millions of dollars taxpayer dollars have been spent on 3% COLA only because legislators made a change to state law to hike that cola in exchange for campaign contributions, votes, and election assistance.

    It has nothing to do with good government.

    It’s a complete scam and waste of money for no good reason.

    Just because it’s a state law doesn’t make it a good state law.

    The Federal Government is not stupid or corrupt enough to put a guaranteed 3% COLA into Social Security.

    So Illinois taxpayers who contribute to or receive Social Security and not an Illinois pension, receive less and pay more.

    Who is the servant in that equation.

    The taxpayer is the servant.

  3. If tax policy has to be explained, then the policy is wrong to begin with.

    Should be simple and transparent without all the “equalizer, multiplier” and ever other liar mumbo jumbo you get from these grifters in a assessor’s office.

    Even had one once tell me “well, it’s for the kids”.

  4. Increased EAV’s will lead to much higher costs to Lakewood for their fire protection services under their agreement with CLRFD.

    Most local townships are seeing an Equalization Factor of about +6.6% applied across the board.

    Grafton, I believe was at least 6%.

    Lakewood’s cost is based upon their EAV times the CLRFD limiting rate.

    Which wouldn’t necessarily have been a problem if the agreement didn’t put a floor on that rate at $0.49 per $100/EAV.

    CLRFD’s new limiting rate will now be below the floor given the rate of increased EAV seen in the area, which means the floor rate will be effective.

    The net effect is that while inflation tracks at about 1% or less, Lakewood’s fire services contract will be increasing at the rate of EAV growth (somewhere in excess of 6%).

    And Lakewood cannot recapture the excess costs in their levy because they’re capped at CPI of 0.7%.

    The question is, how high do property values (i.e. EAV) reach as the market continues to recover and how does Lakewood cover an ever widening gap between its growing contract costs and its constricted levy revenue?

  5. Thank you Coffey for the explanation of the higher cost contract for fire protection facing the citizens of Lakewood over the next several years.

    The 3 trustees who voted in favor of the contract with CL Fire Rescue at the 11/24/15 board meeting were Iden, Serwatka “The Conservative Tax Fighter” and Thomas.

  6. The offset for Lakewood citizens is that Lakewood citizens receive sole and only benefit from Lakewood TIF district.

    Crystal Lake taxpayers are now forced to pay all costs of fire and rescue for Lakewood tif development, which may turn out to be extraordinary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *