Time for Pity Party for Chicago Real Estate Taxpayers?

I continue to be amazed that Chicagoans think they have high property tax bills.

Although the Rod Blagojevich administration has stopped calculating the percentage of home value that Chicagoans pay in real estate taxes, the last time it was calculate, it was just over 1 percent of market value.

That means homeowners paid about 1 percent of what they could sell their homes for in property taxes each year. That percentage is a home’s effective tax rate.

Collar county residents typically pay about twice as much, that is, about 2 percent of the value of their homes to the tax man each year.

From the screams from Chicago you might think the end of world is coming.

The inspiration for this story comes from last Wednesday’s Sun-Times editorial page.

Just as people everywhere, members of the Sun-Times editorial board don’t want to pay taxes.

The six homeowners on the editorial board added up their tax bills and figured out they would collectively pay $35,207 should no tax relief be approved by the General Assembly.

Let’s do a little division.

The average tax bill would be almost $5,700.

Time for a pity party?

Considering our real estate tax bill was $8,000 last year and more in 2007, I think I’ll take a rain check.

Collectively, I would estimate the editorial board members homes to be worth about $3,2 million.

In McHenry County, the tax bill would be more like $64,000.

Although supposed to pay $35,000, they want to pay $5,000 less.

The real estate tax is a tax on value.

The value of your home goes up, so does your taxes.

Outside of Chicago and Cook County and other home rule cities, the property tax cap—passed under Governor Jim Edgar in the last extended legislative session—keeps tax bills more or less in check…unless people vote for tax rate hikes or bond issues.

What do you think?

Should those living in Chicago and Cook County get even more tax breaks that they do already?

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