Good Afternoon, Everyone!
Often, taxes increase - income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes - rather than going down. Right?
And, most times, when they do increase, the politician most seen responsible for the increase, whether or not they are solely responsible, incurs voter wrath.
That's happening right here, right now, in Cook County IL - the county that includes the City of Chicago, with Real Estate Tax Bills for the Second Installment of 2007, due one year in arrears, on November 3, 2008.
In Cook County, this year, 137,980 homeowners are facing higher property tax bills this year, with the average tax increase per homeowner - $799.
For many, the increase is counter-intuitive. Amid historically-high for-sale inventory here, and higher mortgage lending requirements, many property values have declined, here in Chicago and in nearby Cook County IL Suburbs.
However, under long-standing formulas, the Assessed Values for many properties in Cook County were calculated a year ago or longer, before the current weakening in the Chicago Real Estate Market took full hold.
Now, Cook County Assessor James Houlihan is proposing a "Circuit Breaker" Initiative. The plan would offer a Real Estate Tax Credit of as much as $700 for homeowners whose property taxes on their main residence exceed 5% of their household income.
To pay for the plan, the assessor proposes eliminating the 5% IL Income Tax Credit for homeowners statewide.
The plan requires approval from Chicago, Cook County, and IL Legislators, of course. Approval here is uncertain.
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and Cook County Board President Todd Stroger say they would like to study Houlihan's plan further. One earlier Houlihan proposal, to use Chicago Tax Increment Finance (TIF) money for Property Tax Relief is not legal, according to Daley.
Said Houlihan, "Amid all of the financial concerns-possible job loss, foreclosure, erosion of retirement savings-[homeowners] are worried about escalating property taxes, and they see the values of their property declining. These individuals need immediate help."
For more info, read our post today via BlogChicagoHomes.com, which links to content and video from Hal Dardick's story in last Tuesday's Chicago Tribune.
DEAN & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO