Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas recently released an unprecedented study of property taxes that shows the county’s tax bills virtually doubling over 20 years, an increase that is nearly triple the rise in the cost-of-living index.
“The Pappas Study” is a painstaking examination of tax bills on Cook County’s 1.7 million parcels of property that shows the increase of total taxes over the past 20 years, and it allows taxpayers to see the increases in bills on their homes, businesses and land.
The study is posted on the Cook County treasurer’s website with a research tool allowing owners to see how local governments taxed property and how people have paid the tax bill over two decades.
“This website tool gives taxpayers a sobering reminder of what they have paid every year going back 20 years,” Pappas said. “In the midst of the pandemic and a recession, local governments should take their foot off the gas pedal and stop raising property taxes.”
While the cost of living has risen just 36 percent over 20 years, the findings of the Pappas Study include the following:
•In all of Cook County, total taxes billed increased 99 percent, from $7.85 billion to $15.58 billion.
•In Chicago, total taxes on residential properties skyrocketed 164 percent, from $1.33 billion to $3.51 billion.
•In Chicago, total taxes on commercial properties rose 81 percent, from $1.92 billion to $3.48 billion.
•In suburban Cook County, total taxes on residential properties jumped 116 percent, from $2.45 billion to $5.29 billion.
•In suburban Cook County, total taxes on commercial properties rose 53 percent, from $2.15 billion to $3.30 billion.
“Because the study lets us see what government has done in the past, we might be able to chart a better, less costly future,” Pappas said. “Government cannot just raise taxes and hope for the best.”
Cook County has 2,200 local government agencies including school districts, townships, parks, libraries, public health and safety agencies. The study analyzed total property taxes billed in the county’s 135 cities and villages by those 2,200 agencies.
For more information or to view tax payment history, visit cookcountytreasurer.com.