Gov. J.B. Pritzker promised to chop property taxes in 2020, a part of his State of the State speech. Even then he acknowledged that these taxes, a few of the nation’s highest for many years, have been an actual drag on Illinois owners.
Here’s what he promised:
“Property taxes in Illinois are simply too high. And that’s why it’s time to put the best ideas to work from both sides of the aisle. Local governments continue to max out their levies even when they don’t need to. There are perverse incentives in state law that encourage that. We can change the law to support local governments and lower property taxes. And with nearly 7,000 units of government in Illinois, it’s time to empower local taxpayers and voters to consolidate or eliminate them. [Emphasis added].
Nearly four years on and Pritzker and his Democratic-led supermajorities have done nothing for homeowners. The property tax commission he put together to lower taxes was a flop and many laws that have been passed since he took office have increased property taxes. The pain has only gotten worse.
Illinois falls dead last nationally when it comes to home value appreciation since 2000 – worse even than Michigan, which suffered the Detroit bankruptcy. Property taxes are a big reason for that. The Tax Foundation just released new numbers showing Illinoisans still pay the nation’s second highest taxes.
Then there’s the threat of even more bad news. Illinois leads the nation for counties most at risk of a housing market downturn – as if residents in cities like Decatur can handle more losses.
And about those most-in-the-country units of government, nothing’s been done there either. It’s just part of the massive government bloat that ensures property taxes only go higher.
Here are some of the reasons why it stinks to be a homeowner in Illinois:
1. Illinois is the nation’s worst state for home appreciation.
Yes, home prices have jumped in some parts of Illinois in the last couple of years. Pandemic disruptions and the trillions poured into the economy by the federal government have boosted nominal values as people have escaped Chicago and moved to the suburbs.
But the short-term blip can’t hide the fact that Illinois home values, after taking into account inflation, have only appreciated 13 percent over the past two decades – the nation’s worst growth.
Compare that to Texas and Florida, where home values are up 100 percent, or to the mountain states like Montana and Idaho where prices have grown 117 percent and 139 percent, respectively. Even Illinois’ neighbors’ prices – though worse than the national average – still managed to grow two to three times more than in Illinois.
For Illinoisans hoping to grow their property nest-eggs for retirement, beware. It’s likely to get worse. Illinoisans are leaving in record numbers and the state’s pension crisis is pushing governments further into debt. Higher taxes are inevitable.
2. Twelve Illinois counties among the 50 property markets nationwide most ‘at-risk’ of a downturn
What’s worse, home values here are in danger of falling. Illinois is home to 12 of the nation’s 50 housing markets most at-risk of a downturn according to ATTOM Data Solutions, a company that provides comprehensive data on property values and taxes across the nation.
Macon County, home of the struggling city of Decatur, is ranked the 2nd-most at-risk market in the entire country, behind only Essex County, New Jersey.
And the Chicago metro area is, collectively, among the most “vulnerable to decline” markets together with the New Jersey-NYC metro space.
Property in DeKalb County is ranked the Fifteenth-most at-risk of a decline. Cook County is twenty fourth. Will County is forty first and Kendall County is the nation’s forty sixth most at-risk.
Downstate communities in addition to Decatur are additionally in hassle. St. Clair County, the place East St. Louis and Belleville are situated, is the nation’s Seventeenth-most at-risk market. And Peoria is thirty fourth.
3. Illinois property taxes are nonetheless the nation’s 2nd-highest
One of the explanation why Illinois’ house costs are so low is because of the 2nd-highest property taxes within the nation. The extra of a homebuyers’ revenue that has to go to property taxes, the much less they need to pay up for a house, which depresses house costs.
Illinois’ 2.1 p.c charge is just overwhelmed by New Jersey’s 2.2 p.c charge, although whether or not Illinois or New Jersey takes the highest spot for property taxes tends to vary relying on who you ask.
Regardless, Illinois property taxes are greater than double the efficient charge that residents in Missouri pay (1.0 p.c) and a couple of.5 instances what Indianans (0.8 p.c) and Kentuckians (0.8 p.c) pay.
4. Illinois residents pay for too many native governments.
Illinoisans are swamped by many overlapping and duplicative governments. Nearly 7,000, essentially the most within the nation.
Yes, native management is necessary, however Illinois typically has too many taxing governments for one individual to maintain observe of, not to mention to attempt to maintain accountable. Some residents, like these residing in components of Elgin, are topic to 13 taxing governments – from the county to the town, township, library district, park district, cemetery district, and lots of, many extra.
All these governments have bureaucrats that run them, and which means extra property taxes to fund the salaries, advantages and pensions of these officers.
We outlined the bills of one among Illinois’ worst offenders, the state’s 850-plus college districts, in Administrators over kids: Seven ways Illinois’ education bureaucracy siphons money from classrooms.
Gov. Pritzker must be held accountable for his failure to do something about property taxes and the state’s too-many 7,000 models of native authorities.
He’s acquired no excuse for breaking the guarantees he made. He actually can’t blame the few Republicans in workplace – the governor has the supermajorities in each chambers to cross no matter “reforms” he needs.
Unfortunately, making property taxes extra bearable isn’t amongst Pritzker’s priorities. His 5 years of no motion is proof sufficient of that.
Until that adjustments, Illinois will stay one of many worst states to personal a house.