John P.: It’s getting very difficult to stay here.


John P. owns a 3,310 square foot, 4-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom Schaumburg home that is currently assessed at $502,110.

“[The high property taxes] have slowed us down in every aspect of our life,” John said. “It allows me to give less to my family, less to my children. I’m on a fixed income now. It’s forcing me to sell my home. ”

John took possession of the home in 1999 when it was worth around $432,000, or $654,583 in today’s dollars. He has paid $207,246 in property taxes since 1999, more than 47 percent of the original value of his home.

“It’s getting very difficult to stay here,” John said. “[Our taxes are spent] irresponsibly and irrationally.”

John is currently paying $13,834 per year in property taxes on his home, about 2.7 percent of the Cook County Assessor claimed value of $502,110.

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 believe [in Illinois] it’s 2.25 percent now, the second highest in the nation,” John said. “It would be extremely helpful to homeowners and would force the local taxing bodies to rethink their spending and tighten their belts. It might switch the tax burden to user fees.”

If John lived in Indiana the most he could be charged in property taxes would be $5,021 per year or $8,813 less than what he currently pays in Illinois.

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