Colleen H.: I don’t know what they’re doing with the money.

Colleen owns a 1,234 square foot, 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom Northlake home that is currently assessed at $148,960

“I’m working two and three jobs,” College said. “I have a degree and I make pretty good money, but just to pay these taxes, it’s hard. It works out to about $600 a month and that’s hard. Two of my three children are special needs.”

Colleen took possession of the home in 2006 when it was worth around $225,000, or $281,412 in today’s dollars. She has paid $67,777 in property taxes since 2006, more than 30 percent of the original value of her home.

“Cook County has no assistance for this sort of thing and when a large part of your people are low income, that seems unfair,” Colleen said.

Colleen is currently paying $6,508 per year in property taxes on her home, about 4.3 percent of the Cook County Assessor claimed value of $148,960.

“I don’t know [where the taxes go], to be honest,” Colleen said. “I am not seeing a whole lot of programs for people. The food pantries are lousy. I don’t know what they’re doing with the money. They’re not doing anything to benefit low-income people.”

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.

“There are not enough resources here for people that are low income,” Colleen said. “I absolutely think a cap on property taxes would help.”

If Colleen lived in Indiana the most she could be charged in property taxes would be $1,489 per year or $5,019 less than what she currently pays in Illinois.

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