Cook County residents received their property tax bills last week and probably wonder why theirs went up or down compared to last year.
The biggest change was due to 2010 reassessments that are paid in 2011 tax bills. Every three years Cook County reassesses properties and this was the year to reassess the north and northwestern suburbs.
How much did your bill change?
I looked at a random sample of properties in the School District 15 boundaries (which roughly matches Palatine township boundaries) and found that most tax bills changed anywhere from a decrease of 13% to an increase of 20% and were scattered in this range (but a few had changes higher or lower than this). The average change was an increase of 3%; however, more tax bills decreased than increased so the median was a decrease of 1%.
Equalized Assessed Values (EAV) before exemptions decreased by 14%, reflecting the general decline in housing values.
How much did School District 15 taxes change?
District 15′s taxes billed by Cook County were up 1.3% over last year, an increase from $109.71 million to $111.19 million. Because the total EAV in the District 15 boundaries went from $4756 million to $4272 million, the District 15 tax rate per $100 EAV went from 2.307 ($109.71 million / $4756 million * 100) to 2.603 ($111.19 million / $4272 million * 100).
What limits District 15 property tax increases?
There are two main components of the $111.19 million of property taxes for District 15 that appeared on 2011 bills:
- $107.3 million “PTELL-capped” taxes, plus
- $3.9 million taxes to pay off bond principal and interest
PTELL (“Property Tax Extension Limitation Law”) limits tax increases to the amount of inflation or 5%, whichever is less, plus additional taxes for new property in the district. The inflation limit for the 2010 tax year was 2.7%, which was the CPI-U inflation rate for 2009. These taxes are $107.0 million of the $107.3 million. Plus there were additional taxes of $0.3 million for the $11.8 million of EAV for new property. So the PTELL-capped taxes went up by a total of 3.0%, from $104.1 million to $107.3 million. For more information about PTELL see Property Tax Extension Limitation Law by Referendum, An Overview.
The $3.9 million of taxes to pay off bonds was a reduction from $5.5 million the prior year. Most of this reduction is a one-time change to correct for an over collection of taxes for the 2005 to 2009 tax years. This reduction was approved by the District 15 board at the 6/15/2011 board meeting. Bond taxes are also capped by Illinois law to a “Debt Service Extension Base” (DSEB). More information about these limitations can be found at the PTELL document mentioned above.