Chicago property tax increases are largest in some Latino neighborhoods

Mark Rivera Image
Friday, December 2, 2022
Chicago property taxes increase most in some Latino neighborhoods
Some majority Latino neighborhoods in Chicago have seen eye-popping property tax increases.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Some majority Latino neighborhoods in Chicago have seen eye-popping property tax increases.

"It's too high, it's much too high. So we can't do nothing," said Maria Lopez, who lives on the Lower West Side.

Lopez's bill is going up 67%, nearly an extra $2,000. Just a few blocks over, Patrick Blackburn said his property tax increase is so bad, he may have to raise rent on his tenants.

"It's gonna damn near double," he said. "The gas went double. I'm on a budget. Everything, the water went up. The water tax went up, everything went up."

"If you were, like, to say on a scale of one to 20 how angry are people, I would say you're probably at a 50," said Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas.

Pappas said the tax increases are due to a combination of property assessments increasing, gentrification, a new Illinois property tax law allowing governments to recover taxes refunded to owners, increased government and school budget costs and rising home values in Latino neighborhoods like Humboldt Park and Avondale.

"This report, without question, will affect the mayoral and aldermanic elections because people are going to be scrutinizing what happened; how and why and what, if anything, can be done about it," Pappas said.

Pappas said 60% of the property taxes are earmarked for schools, but 25th Ward Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez, who represents the Lower West Side, said there is a bigger system properly with the property tax system.

"This is preventable," he said. "The lack of political willingness to address this issue has cost us. Thousands of residents have been displaced, and when is it going to be enough? You know, I think they have a responsibility as elected officials to stop putting the burden on working people."

Pappas said individual residents are shouldering more of the burden than commercial businesses: 54% of the tax increase is going to homeowners while 46% is for businesses. Meanwhile, many predominantly Black neighborhoods have seen their taxes drop, the treasurer said.