Poll: Nearly 3-in-5 Illinoisans say property taxes don’t deliver value

Poll: Nearly 3-in-5 Illinoisans say property taxes don’t deliver value

Fifty-eight percent of Illinois voters polled said their property taxes don’t provide enough value in public services. Illinoisans pay the second-highest property taxes in the nation.

A new survey for the Illinois Policy Institute found 58% of Illinois voters polled don’t think the value of public services they receive are worth the property taxes they pay.

Illinoisans pay the second-highest property tax rates in the nation behind only New Jersey.

A University of Chicago study found Cook County property taxes are highly regressive because low-income communities can’t afford to appeal their property taxes, meaning they pay disproportionality more.

Property tax burdens affect renters, too, as landlords pass on property tax costs through rent. As a result, property taxes can significantly impact the affordability of housing for both homeowners and renters.

Funding for quality public services has suffered because of Illinois’ rampant pension growth, which crowds out funding for key services. Since 2000, pension spending is up 584% while vital services have suffered or dropped.

Affluent homeowners have a greater capacity to leave the state altogether. According to a United Van Lines survey of Illinois movers, those leaving Illinois made up 63% of total migration, the second highest in the nation behind New Jersey.

New Jersey and Illinois also hold some of the nation’s least-funded pensions, a major contributor to high property taxes.

A “hold harmless” pension reform plan, such as one developed by the Illinois Policy Institute and based loosely on bipartisan 2013 reforms, could help eliminate the state’s unfunded pension liability and achieve retirement security for pensioners. The 2013 reforms were rejected by the Illinois Supreme Court, which is why reform requires a change to the Illinois Constitution.

The poll of 800 Illinois voters was conducted March 27-29 by Echelon Insights.

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