Margie M.: I’m going to try to sell [the house] but I don’t know if I will be able to.


Margie M. owns a 2,742 square foot Lynwood home that is currently assessed at $251,470.

Margie took possession of the home in 2003 when it was worth around $105,000, or $143,887 in today’s dollars. She has paid $72,699 in property taxes since 2006, more than 69 percent of the original value of her home.

“The values of the houses in this area have gone down quite a bit, but the taxes never did,” Margie said. “I live on two busy streets, but we cannot get cable where we live, we have well water and we cannot get internet at our house. We have no amenities, but they keep raising the taxes.”

Margie is currently paying $8,770 per year in property taxes on her home, about 3.4 percent of the Cook County Assessor claimed value of $251,470.

“I’m going to try to sell [the house], but I don’t know if I will be able to,” Margie said. “I’m behind on my taxes because I just can’t afford them. My mortgage is $600 a month, yet my tax bill is $750 a month. That’s ridiculous.”

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.

“I think there’s a lot of waste,” Margie said. “I think they could probably manage things a little bit better. I think the politicians need to start funding their own pensions and not have the public finance them. I think a [one percent hard cap] would help.”

If Margie lived in Indiana the most she could be charged in property taxes would be $2,514 per year or $6,256 less than what she currently pays in Illinois.

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