Greg Z.: I pay too much money for my real estate taxes for what I get.

Greg Z. owns a 1,531 square foot, 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom Aurora home that is currently assessed at $153,540.

Greg took possession of the home in 2004 when it was worth around $187,500, or $250,277 in today’s dollars. He has paid $72,286 in property taxes since 2005, more than 38 percent of the original value of his home.

“I would move, but I’m 63,000 underwater on the home,” Greg said. “The real estate tax bill does have an effect on the home. It’s very expensive to live here in Kendall County. I have to figure out a way to bridge the gap to get what my home is worth. I’m retired, so it’s difficult for me to just pick up and leave.”

Greg is currently paying $5,842 per year in property taxes on his home, about 3.8 percent of the Kendall County Assessor claimed value of $153,540.

“I pay too much money for my real estate taxes for what I get,” Greg said. “As far as it impacts my life, when I go to sell this house, I know people are going to be looking at the real estate taxes and what they’re going to get for it.”

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.

“[Taxes] should be capped,” Greg said. “There is no reason why it couldn’t be. Many states do it.”

If Greg lived in Indiana the most he could be charged in property taxes would be $1,535 per year or $4,307 less than what he currently pays in Illinois.

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