Angry Homeowners Protest Latest Property Tax Bills

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (CBS) – Dozens of people are showing up at tax offices across Cook County to protest their latest property tax bills. CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports.

These people are really ticked off. They’re not only angry, they’re baffled. Many of them were asking the same question: how can my property values go down and my property tax bill go up?

“My taxes went up $1,200,” said homeowner Gina Samolinski.

It’s a staggering increase for any homeowner, but Samolinski is unemployed. So is her husband. They live in a two-bedroom home in Elk Grove Village with their 3-year-old son.

“I don’t know where we’re going to come up with this money,” she said. “I can’t afford it. I just can’t.”

Samolinski was among the many frustrated homeowners who packed the Schaumburg Township Assessor’s office. They came from nine villages within the township. The average tax increase is $2,500.

Karen Bates beat the average with a $3,400 hike.

When she saw the increase, Bates said she “started shaking really bad.”

Bates is retired. She’s lived in a house in unincorporated Schaumburg for 32 years.

“To me, it’s very frustrating. I know there’s gotta be a mistake,” said Bates.

Not necessarily. Unfortunately, for 80 percent of the people complaining, the Township Assessor says the bill is correct. Even though in many cases, the property values dropped.

“It’s hard to explain to people that their assessed value went down but their tax bills went up,” said Schaumburg Township Assessor John Lawson. “And that is based on the state equalizer rate, and that is based on the local taxes.”

That equalizer is on the far right hand side of your bill. So if that number went up to 3.37 from 2.97, your taxes went up. Bottom line: the increase in taxes wiped out any decrease in your property values.

“You have to appeal,” said Lawson.

When you appeal your property taxes you’re basically saying to the county that your house is not worth as much as they think it is, and therefore your tax rate should be lower. That would decrease your tax bill.

Unfortunately, you can’t appeal your taxes until the spring.

In the meantime, you can make sure you’ve received a tax credit for things like being a veteran, a senior citizen, and a longtime homeowner. Those exemptions can reduce your taxes a couple of hundred dollars apiece.

Protests are also taking place in other counties. CBS 2 randomly called six or seven assessor’s offices, and they also reported long lines of angry people.

  • Right

    Until you have mostly minorities paying their fair share of taxes to support the schools, they will gouge most homeowners.

    • wake up

      Hello – You’re right – only if you’re referring to the top 1% minority uber wealthy who make millions and pay pennies of what they really owe in taxes because of all the loop holes and breaks congress has given them. If they paid their fare share (bear in mind they make more money than the other 95% of the people combined) we wouldn’t be in the trouble we’re in.

  • lon

    ca someone explain how the property value goes down and the taxes go up?
    sounds to me that the politicians are lining theiir pockets again.

  • Just the Average Joe

    These are the taxes needed to pay for schools, forest preserve, public pensions, local public salaries, local roads, ect. I bet a good portion of the Cook County taxes goes to the judicial system. The best thing a retired person can do that is living on a limited fixed income is move. Think about those taxes when you vote Democrat and for every little new thing the local government wants to build. Need a new sports complex?

  • streamwoodbill

    With these taxes, the state or city or county better not think about bailing out the wrigley family for any improvements at their ball park.

    Hopefully CBS can inform us how and when to appeal these taxes.

    • Wake up

      Exactly – the county is doing what all the government is doing – giving breaks to the top 1% and we all foot the bill. Hello. We need to gather together and protest – the government is supposed to be for all the people not just the 1% with lots of money and connections. As long as we all sit idly by and allow them to – they will stick it to us.

  • OverTaxed

    Just like business in the last 10 years, Cook County will see a mass exodus of taxpayers who are sick and tired of constantly being pick-pocketed with taxes, IN THE MIDDLE OF A RECESSION. Why would anyone even think about buying a house of living in Cook County unless they absolutely had no other choice?

    And now Quinn wants to increase the State income tax!?!? Did he see unemployment is over 10% and underemployment is closer to 20%!?!?! Wake up people, our elected officials care nothing about it’s citizens or their financial hardships.

  • Don Stone

    Overall my taxes increased +21%
    Misc Taxes +13.1%
    School Taxes +66.7%
    Can someone explane how a 67% increase is justified?
    Township Taxes +13.7%
    Cook County Taxes + 6.5%
    My retired and SS fixed income Increased 0%

  • Crook County Resident

    BERRIOS is the problem ! If you continue to re-elect Berrios, you will continue to have problems. Did anyone notice the tax bills came out AFTER the election? We in Chicago noticed. BERRIOS must go ! MY taxes have gone up 143% yet there are people on my street who pay nothing…that’s right $0. So it’s not everyone. It’s just some people. GET RID OF BERRIOS !!!!

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