‘They’re chasing people out of the city’: New property tax report shocks Cook County treasurer, residents

Chicago News

CHICAGO – In her second floor office, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas has a warning after her office recently finished a project on property taxes in Cook County.

In March, at the beginning of the pandemic, her office took a big project. They poured through nearly 20 years of data to come up with what she calls The Pappas Report.

She cataloged the steep rise in property taxes in Cook County and the city. What she found shocked her.

“I was shocked, you gotta be kidding,” Pappas said. “The third Ward is a 431%, the 27th ward is 322%… it was already bad really bad.”

Since 2000, the cost of living has gone up 36.3% and wages have gone up 56.8%. Meanwhile, in suburban Cook County, residential and commercial property taxes have gone up on average 87.1%. In the city, they have gone up 114.8%.

At the upper end of that average is a modest house on West Cortland in Bucktown. Where, since 2000 property taxes have increased. From about $2800 to more than 19,000. That is a 573% increase.

In Ravenswood, one home has had a 563% increase in property taxes since 2000.

“They’re killing me,” resident Danny Miller said. “They’re chasing people out of the city.” 

Pappas said one way things can get better is by more people getting involved. She points to record low voter turn out, around 27%, over the past 20 years as one of the reasons why lawmakers don’t feel the pressure to keep costs down.

To view the study, click here.

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