Tribune Assessment Article Features 2% Effective Tax Rate for Overtaxed Chicago Homeowner

I was reading the second of the Chicago Tribune’s article on real estate assessments in Cook County and was struck be the following paragraph:

In the end, the property taxes she paid that year represented more than 2 percent of her home’s value. That percentage, known as the effective tax rate, should be relatively the same for all, but Shelton’s was about 60 percent higher than what people living on the Waveland block paid, according to the Tribune’s analysis.[Emphasis addedThis is the part of the article that tells of an overassessment of a low priced home.

The woman, who inherited her home from her parents, said, “…the taxes are killing us.”


Well, well, well.

I want you to divide the value of your home, what you could sell it for, and divide that into your tax bill.

If you don’t know, pick the figure on Zillow.

Zillow says ours is worth almost $300,000.

Our tax bill was almost $10,000.

$10,000 divided by $300,000 is 3.6%.

That is how one calculates one’s “effective tax rate.”

It is a way to compare real estate tax burdens anywhere in the world.

So, if the effective tax rate for someone who is overassessed in Chicago is 2%, how does that make someone in McHenry County with an effective tax rate much higher feel?

Is it fair?

Found another interesting paragraph:

Elsewhere in the country, many jurisdictions are loath to grant appeals, seeking instead to defend their valuations. Some states, such as California, base assessments on actual sales and adjust those values based on market trends, a system that results in far fewer appeals.

That’s the way I thought it was supposed to be in Illinois.


Tribune Assessment Article Features 2% Effective Tax Rate for Overtaxed Chicago Homeowner — 6 Comments

  1. Zillow is NOT a resource accepted by assessing officials to contest valuations.

    Only an appraisal by a certified State licensed appraiser will be competent.

    If homeowners have never appealed their assessment valuation using a certified appraisal, they are probably overvalued by 20% or more.

    There is no such thing as a comp because all real estate, by definition, is unique and, therefore attempting to use comps is not productive.

    Maybe the assessing officials will knock off $1500 in market value just to get rid of the case but that reduction will only result in tax savings of about $60.

  2. Yea Cal should run right out and spend $400 on some nitwit appraiser, so as not to offend your Zillow sensibilities Jim.

  3. The formula is correct, but using Zillow is worthless for any legitimate effective rate.

    Ask your local realtor, and not what she would list it for, but what she would expect to secure for the property.

    Add closing costs, commissions, etc and get your net.

    Only then will this formula have any useful information.

    In light of the recent Algonquin Township revelations, taxpayers in that Township should flooding the Board meetings and seeking a tax rebate.

  4. 3-4% is about correct unfortunately.

    Just sold a larger home to downsize as part the of a slow exit from county and eventually state.

    I was at 3.75% after closing costs despite reduction based on an appeal 2 years ago.

    My neighbors are over 4% because they did not appeal.

    If you have any froenda in another county or state, compare notes.

    If your results are similar to mine you are either stuck here, enjoy paying overpriced public union retirement benefits or you will also start your exit.

  5. Find out your ACTUAL tax rate on your TAX BILL:

    It is the TOTAL RATE on bottom left, divided by 3.

    if your TOTAL RATE is 12.84% as in Woodstock, divide by 3 to get the tax rate applied to the full value of your home (after exemptions have been deducted and equalization have been added).

    In case of Woodstock, 12.8%/3= 4.26%

    To find the amount you are really being assessed, take the tenth from bottom figure on far right, “Total Amt. Prior to Exemptions” and multiply that by 3.

    Information can also be found online at County Clerk Taxes or Treasurer.

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