COOK COUNTY, Ill. — In the midst of one of the worst inflationary economies in decades, where gas, groceries, and goods of all sorts cost significantly more, the pain keeps mounting for Chicago homeowners.
Pam Moore-Anderson has lived on the city’s West Side in the 4800 block of Crystal Street for 21 years.
“I was shocked. I mean seriously and I still am,” Moore-Anderson said.
The confusion comes from a property tax increase she says will cost her hundreds more dollars in mortgage.
“I went from $1,500 a year to $5,000,” she said. “I just can’t wrap my head around it at all.”
As for Moore-Anderson’s assessed property value: “From $101,000 in one year’s time to $239,000. Are you kidding me?
“We live in a food desert. Crime is high. Where I live is Austin and the schools are not good. The police protection is not good. So what would constitute such a big increase?”
Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas says she gets it when it comes to Pam’s situation and thousands of other Cook County homeowners in similar dire straits.
“It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in psychology to figure this out,” Pappas said. “So, this is pretty simple, OK. The anger level in the city on a scale of one to 10 is probably 30.”
The second installment bills usually go out in August, but problems with updating the county’s outdated computer systems caused a delay. They were posted online about two weeks ago.
According to Pappas:
- Tax bills across the county rose by $614 million.
- Latino neighborhoods will see the most significant tax increase in gentrifying Chicago neighborhoods.
- Homeowners are paying 53.5% of the increase, with businesses paying 46.4%.
Humboldt Park, South Lawndale and the Lower West Side saw year-over-year increases of more than 24%.
Leaving is the last thing Moore-Anderson says she wants to do.
“I’ve been there 21 years. I’m not trying to start over. I don’t want to be taxed out of my community,” she said.
Still, the longtime Cook County homeowner says she has gotten the runaround from various city and county officials regarding the tax spike.
“The blame game is being shifted around,” she said. “At the end of the day, how does that help me as a consumer?”