Pamela C.: I’ve been fighting for the last two years not to lose my family home.

Pamela C. owned a 1,000 square foot, 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom Grayslake home that is currently assessed at $188,844.

Pamela took possession of the home in 1974. She has paid $80,005 in property taxes since 2000.

“My parents didn’t understand when they purchased the home that it would be turned over to the bank when they left the property,” Pamela said.

Pamela is currently paying $6,437 per year in property taxes on her home, about 3.3 percent of the Lake County Assessor claimed value of $188,844.

“I was working two and three jobs to work to pay the bank back and then the bank decided that wasn’t good enough,” Pamela said. “I tried to enter into an agreement for me to rent the house and they didn’t want that. It went into foreclosure and sheriff sale and the eviction. Now I’m just waiting for them to put that red notice on the door.”

Indiana has a hard 1 percent cap on property taxes. This means local governments are not allowed under state law to charge homeowner’s more than 1 percent of their home’s assessed value per year. The average property tax rate for the state of Indiana is 0.89 percent. Meanwhile, the average property tax rate in Illinois is 2.3 percent.

“Our taxes are not spent properly,” Pamela said. “I know they’re not. They don’t care. They just want their money.” 

If Pamela lived in Indiana the most she could be charged in property taxes would be $1,888 per year or $4,459 less than what she currently pays in Illinois.

“It’s been rough,” Pamela said. “I’ve been fighting for the last two years not to lose my family home. Every avenue I’ve been down I’ve heard ‘no.’”

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