Illinois Misses the Mark for Highest Property Taxes

Elgin, Kane County, IL – The land of Lincoln is not the state with the highest property tax (but it sure feels like it), according to this article from the Motley Fool,  http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/01/25/10-states-with-the-highest-property-taxes-in-ameri.aspx

Although Illinois ranks very high in this chart, it still falls behind the New England states of New Jersey, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and New York.  As anyone from Cook county knows, steep differences in taxes are also found between Illinois counties and often by ZIP code.

For example, the city of Elgin has three main ZIP codes, 60120, 60123, and 60124.  Parts of 60120 lie within Cook county and well as Kane county, making  a big difference in a home buyer’s tax liability before 2012.  Many residents of Elgin Cook county found this out when they received their 2013 bill, because the tax rate changed significantly for Cook.  http://www.chicagonow.com/getting-real/2013/07/cook-county-chicago-property-taxes-2012/

Cook county also delivered a double whammy with the reduction in the homeowner exemption going from $12,000 to $7,000, averaging an extra fee of $200 per property, on top of the already higher tax rate.  Essentially, this reflects what the Elgin Kane county residents have been paying the entire time.

Adding property tax on top of a mortgage payment with principle and interest can pack a punch for a homeowner’s wallet.  Many people use the monthly escrow system, paying out the taxes in equal chunks stretched over 12 payments, instead of having a huge chunk come up in June and August.  If the homeowner uses the Motley Fool’s chart, they should anticipate at least $372 in taxes on top of their mortgage payment each month.

Your buyer’s agent or broker will have some information on the taxes on a property that is currently listed for sale in the MLS.  Be sure to do your due diligence on the accuracy of the taxes before you buy a home and avoid any surprises down the line.

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