B.B. owns a Dolton home that is currently assessed at $74,500.
“[The high property taxes] have seriously impacted my life because I’ve got to a point where I just couldn’t pay it,” B.B. said. “Because I couldn’t pay it, [my property] went into the scavenger sale and once you go into the scavenger sale, they just add whatever they feel like adding…and it’s really hard to retrieve your property out of the scavenger sale.”
B.B. has paid $48,930 in property taxes since 2006.
“My problem is that my property went to the land bank in Cook County, so that means the land bank picked up my property, not an individual or corporation,” B.B. said. “Cook County picked it up and Cook County is assessing me all of those dollars.”
B.B. is currently paying $5,962 per year in property taxes on her home, about 0.8 percent of the Cook County Assessor claimed value of $74,500.
“You work real hard and take care of your family, you pay for your property and then you’re left with these enormous tax bills,” B.B. said.
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.
“Let me put it this way, when it gets dark, you get eaten up by mosquitos,” B.B. said. “I thank God that the West Nile virus is barely here, so they’re not spraying for mosquitos. But, if you look at your tax bill, it says they do. I don’t think [our taxes are] spent properly, to be honest.”
If B.B. lived in Indiana the most she could be charged in property taxes would be $7,450 per year.
“I think they should cap taxes at a certain rate,” B.B. said.
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