|Residential property tax bills in Illinois have grown 268 percent since 1990. Median household incomes have grown just 127 percent and home values 114 percent.
The property taxes Illinoisans pay are punitive any way you cut them, according to Wirepoints’ latest report on Illinois property taxes.
Property tax bills as a share of household incomes are up more than 60 percent compared to 1990. In 2020, property taxes ate up 5.9 percent of median household incomes in Illinois. Thirty years ago, property tax bills consumed just 3.6 percent of incomes. The tax rate has jumped despite the 1991 passage of PTELL, a law meant to limit property tax increases in Illinois.
Under a second measure – as a percentage of home values – Illinois property taxes are now the highest in the country. ATTOM Data Solutions calculated Illinois’ effective tax rate as 1.86 percent in 2021. New Jersey was second.
And as for their impact on house prices, property taxes have contributed to Illinois suffering the nation’s third-worst growth in inflation-adjusted home values over the last 20 years, up just 3 percent. In contrast, states like Florida and Texas saw their values grow more than 40 percent.
“Over the last 30 years, Illinois property tax bills grew far faster than household incomes. That’s left Illinoisans with less money in their wallets for essentials like groceries, tuition, mortgages, and retirement contributions,” says Ted Dabrowski, President of Wirepoints. “As a result, Illinoisans’ home values have stagnated, making Illinois a national outlier once again.”
Wirepoints also looked at tax data county by county, identifying places with the largest burdens and how they’ve changed over time. Lake County residents are burdened with the highest property tax rates in Illinois: 7.8 percent of income. DuPage County and Will County are 2nd- and 3rd-highest, respectively.
Other facts in the report include:
As a share of incomes:
As a share of home values:
“The state’s punishing tax numbers – and Illinois’ outlier position nationally – make an overwhelming case for reforming the cost drivers of Illinois’ property tax crisis, from pensions to public sector collective bargaining laws to education spending,” says Ted.
“Pension reform, starting with a constitutional amendment to the state’s pension protection clause, collective bargaining reforms and local government consolidation are the only ways to structurally and permanently reduce Illinoisans’ property tax bills.”
“If nothing is done, residents will continue to flee from the highest property taxes in the nation.”
A compilation of property tax burdens by county is available here.