Illinois property taxes growing 6 times faster than household incomes

January 11, 2018

New research from the Illinois Policy Institute found that property taxes in Illinois grew six times faster than household incomes.

CHICAGO (Jan. 11, 2018) — New research from the Illinois Policy Institute found that property taxes in Illinois grew six times faster than household incomes during the recession era. From 2008-2015, the average household income grew just 7 percent, but average property taxes paid grew nearly 48 percent, according to the most recent available survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Property taxes are sucking away financial stability from hardworking families in Illinois,” said Orphe Divounguy, chief economist at the Illinois Policy Institute. “While some people look at ‘effective property tax rates,’ these numbers don’t reflect how much property taxes are taking out of family budgets. The real property tax burden – property taxes as a share of income – shows just how far Illinois families have to stretch their budgets. We have seen that burden grow almost 40 percent between 2008 and 2015.

“Illinois needs to be a place where people can afford to put down roots, but sky-high property taxes prevent too many families from achieving this goal.”

Illinois Policy Institute research also reveals that in recent years, property tax bills have risen as returns to investment in home equity have declined in Illinois – meaning property taxes are too often destroying the savings of middle-class families.

Highlights from the original research include:

  • The average Illinois household income increased by only 7 percent from 2008-2015, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • During the same time, the average property taxes paid in Illinois grew by nearly 48 percent.
  • The real property tax burden – percentage of household income paid in property taxes – increased by nearly 38 percent from 2008-2015.
  • The average Illinois household income did not grow in 2015, but the real tax burden still increased 17 percent from 2014-2015.
  • The average return on investment in home equity increased 14 percent over the recession era in Illinois. But from 2014 to 2015, the return to home equity actually decreased by 2.4 percent.

The Illinois Policy Institute’s full report, “Rising property tax burdens squeeze Illinois families,” can be viewed online here.

For bookings or interviews, contact Kayla Weems at media@illinoispolicy.org or (312) 607-4977.