Chicago property taxes to increase by 12.8 percent

The Cook County Clerk's office released the 2015 property tax rates on Monday for the entire county. While the northern and southern suburbs of Cook County can expect a slight tax bill increase of 1.7 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively, Chicago's property tax bills will rise by 12.8 percent.

According to the Clerk's office, citizens of Chicago who paid an average tax bill of $3,220.32 in 2014, will pay an average of $3,633.19 on their 2015 bills, an increase of $412.87.

Cook County property taxes are paid in arrears, meaning the bill for 2015 is paid during 2016.

The Clerk's office says that this substantial increase is due the city being reassessed in 2015, which resulted in a 9.3 percent increase in the equalized assessed value citywide. The equalized assessed value, or EAV, is a multiplier used in calculating property taxes to bring the total assessed value of all properties in Cook County to a level that is equal to 33.3 percent of the total market value of all the real estate in the county.

The Clerk's office is quick to note that a majority of Chicago's tax increase is due to the city increasing the pension portion of its levy by $318 million. As a result of the reassessment, the Clerk's office says the city tax rate actually increased less than one percent compared to 2014.

Cook County is divided into three areas, Chicago, northern suburbs, and southern suburbs, which are reassessed every three years. The southern suburbs were reassessed in 2014. Chicago was reassessed in 2015. The northern suburbs will be reassessed in 2016.

Tax bills for Cook County property owners are due August 1, 2016.
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