Jennifer M.: I’ve thought about moving.

Jennifer M. owns a Sawyerville home that is currently assessed at $41,142.

“This is outrageous,” Jennifer said. “We live in a double-wide.”

Jennifer took possession of the home in 2001 when it was worth around $52,000, or $74,162 in today’s dollars. She has paid $7,814 in property taxes since 2010, more than 15 percent of the original value of her home.

“[This has affected us] terribly,” Jennifer said. “Everyone else takes their tax returns and they buy new clothes or spruce up their furniture, but we have to take our tax return and pay our property taxes. We’ve struggled.”

Jennifer is currently paying $901 per year in property taxes on her home, about 2.1 percent of the Macoupin County Assessor claimed value of $41,142.

“I’ve thought about moving,” Jennifer said. “My husband doesn’t want to. Our house is paid for, so that’s another reason why we stay.”

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.

“[Our taxes are not spent] wisely,” Jennifer said. “They could really be doing a lot to update their system at the courthouse. The rates are at something like 3 percent. It’s outrageous. A better assessment would help me. They tax all the property the same across the board.”

If Jennifer lived in Indiana the most she could be charged in property taxes would be $411 per year or $490 less than what she currently pays in Illinois.

“There are a ton of property in this county that isn’t even being taxed,” Jennifer said. “If they could go across the board and cap the taxes, it would make sense. It would be more feasible.”

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