Susan P.: Within the next 10 years we will have to make a decision on whether we’ll stay or go.


Susan P. owns a 3,348 square foot, 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom Lemont home that is currently assessed at $499,170.

“I think what they’re trying to do is trap people in Illinois,” Susan said. “I think there is a giant hole in Illinois called public employee pensions which will never ever be filled. So, the legalized theft on our savings, our property values and our retirement security will continue.”

Susan took possession of the home in 2005 when it was worth around $660,000, or $852,106 in today’s dollars. She has paid $115,183 in property taxes since 2005, more than 17 percent of the original value of her home.

“We can handle the tax bill, but the issue is that it just keeps going up and up and the value has declined,” Susan said. “We’re paying more and more and it is losing value.”

Susan is currently paying $10,430 per year in property taxes on her home, about 2 percent of the Cook County Assessor claimed value of $499,170.

“Within the next 10 years we will have to make a decision on whether we’ll stay or go,” Susan said. “And, it might be sooner than that depending on when the Democrats take back over the governorship. We’re pretty sure then that our income taxes will go up and that will accelerate our move out of the state.”

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.

“We need a property tax cap like Indiana has,” Susan said. “That would be such a huge economic boom to Illinois because I think it would keep people coming into Illinois. We need something that will force the hand of the government to resolve the pension crisis and get their finances in order.”

If Susan lived in Indiana the most she could be charged in property taxes would be $4,991 per year or $5,439 less than what she currently pays in Illinois.

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