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Heartland Institute Study: Cook County Property Taxes Increase Twice the Rate of Inflation — a Rate That Can’t Be Sustained

Mon March 12 2012 8:42 pm  http://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=51568
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The economic recession that began in 2007 exposed and aggravated a government fiscal crisis that had been brewing for many years at the national, state, and municipal levels of the U.S.

Slow or negative economic growth, falling housing values, rising government spending, government borrowing to pay for current operations, and shortchanging workers’ pension funds are all factors that are case for alarm.

John Nothdurft writes in a Heartland Institute study Property Tax Levies in Cook County, Illinois: An Analysis that more studies have looked at the debt level of the federal government, and not as much at the state, county and municipal levels.


Using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), The Heartland Institute collected public tax records from the Cook County treasurer’s office during the period 2000 to 2010 and came up with the following conclusions:

Property taxes collected for all taxing districts in Cook County rose from $7.89 billion to $11.69 billion, an increase of 48 percent — twice the rate of inflation during that period (The increase from 2000 to 2010 in the Consumer Price Index for the Chicago-Gary-Kenosha Area was 22.5 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Suburban municipalities increased property taxes by 75 percent, taxing agencies located within the City of Chicago by 44 percent, and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District by 29 percent. Property taxes levied by Cook County government remained flat.

School districts, which collect the largest portion of property taxes, increased property taxes by 58 percent. Twenty-seven school districts more than doubled their levies in the past decade.

The study also reported on the 25 government agencies with the largest property tax increases.

The study also points out that Cook County only accounts for about 6 percent of the total taxes collected. Depending on where a resident lives, 12 to 20 governments cause taxes increase when they demand more. They include mosquito abatement, park districts, public schools, library districts, townships, water reclamation, municipalities, and sometimes fire districts if they are separate from the municipal fire department.

The Village of Arlington Heights at 45.55% was below the combined grand total change of 75.43%.

Arlington Heights Park District was reported at a 46.92% change.

High School District 214 was reported at a 34.01% change.

School District 25 was reported at a 41.41% change.

School District 59 was reported at a 46.83% change.

See the complete report in a PDF file at …
heartland.org/sites/default/files/03-09-2012_nothdurft_on_cook_county_levies.pdf

See also …
The Heartland Institute — heartland.org

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