Study: Tax Levies In Cook County Rose 48 Percent In 10 Years

CHICAGO (CBS) — A new study shows how far and how fast taxes have been going up in various municipalities in Cook County.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the non-profit Heartland Institute analyzed data from the Cook County Treasurer’s office, which showed the combined property tax levies from the more than 550 taxing bodies in the county went up 48 percent from 2000 to 2010.

Heartland government relations director John Nothdurft said that’s more than twice the rate of inflation for the area for the same time period.

“The average property tax owner pays 48 percent more in property taxes today than they did a decade ago, with some homeowners seeing triple digit increases,” Nothdurft said.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

Better Government Association president Andy Shaw said the numbers allow voters to ask some tough questions of their elected officials in Cook County.

“Were these tax increases justified? Was the money spent fairly, transparently, efficiently, honestly, and accountably?” he said.

Many of the tax hikes were driven by pension and other personnel costs, but Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas said part of the problem is having more than 550 different government bodies in Cook County with the power to levy property taxes.

“There are 29 fire districts, 122 municipalities, 49 libraries, and so on,” she said.

Shaw noted suburban governments raised property taxes by 75 percent.

“The media does a great job of keeping an eye on Chicago and Cook County and the state of Illinois, but the suburbs are basically operating under the radar screen,” Shaw said.

Pappas, the BGA and the Heartland Institute said taxpayers need to ask tough questions, such as whether all of those government bodies are necessary.

  • tom sharp

    Way too many taxing bodies in Cook County and Illinois in general. Regional funding for fire departments, libraries, and the like would greatly reduce costs.

  • Jim

    That money is going into someones’ pocket because we do not have the services to show for it. Mr. Liar Liar Pants on Fire…I mean Quinn, promised some sort of property tax relief legislation with the income tax increase…I’m not holding my breath! Not enough votes or just not enough open positions to pay for the votes?

  • Jmason

    You do know that this is Dem. that run everything in the Coook and the State. Need I said more. But let play more in taxes.

  • Betsy

    IL has over 800 school districts, some of them with only ONE school. My own elementary school district supt is paid 250 grand a year to oversee 7 schools, and she is incompetent at her job. There was discussion of consolidating school districts to a reasonable number, and getting rid of the some of the enormously bloated administrative layer, but good luck with that in this state. Anything that is good for taxpayers but bad for corrupt incompetent state workers will go by the wayside.

  • Just Axin

    Hey Pappas, if you care about taxpayers how about giving up your perks such as guards, a car, etc.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live