Nancy Q. owns a 1,538 square foot, 4-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom Lake Villa home that is currently assessed at $236,649.
“The house is in foreclosure,” Nancy said. “There’s more to it than just the taxes, but the biggest thing other than the taxes is the housing market here in Lake County. It seems like Lake County has bounced back at a much slower rate than other counties.”
Nancy took possession of the home in 2006 when it was worth around $280,000, or $350,609 in today’s dollars. She has paid $90,174 in property taxes since 2006, more than 32 percent of the original value of her home.
“I lived out of state off and on from 2014 until February,” Nancy said. “My husband and children remained in Illinois and I went to work in Washington. Buying in Lake County again just doesn’t make sense.”
Nancy is currently paying $8,551 per year in property taxes on her home, about 3.6 percent of the Lake County Assessor claimed value of $236,649.
“What I can’t get past is that they keep looking at the property taxes to continue to fund the schools,” Nancy said. “I get that school is super important, but I feel that programs are being removed and my taxes keep going up. I think property taxes should be linked to the value of the house.”
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.
“The hard cap would be a game changer,” Nancy said. “We’re all stuck in our houses because of the property taxes and we can’t stimulate the economy. If we had a hard cap, I wouldn’t be walking away from my house.”
If Nancy lived in Indiana the most she could be charged in property taxes would be $2,366 per year or $6,185 less than what she currently pays in Illinois.
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