Property taxes still rob ‘Home Alone’ house

Property taxes still rob ‘Home Alone’ house

Property taxes are the real thieves attacking the house used in the holiday movie ‘Home Alone.’ The house is available for a one-night stay this holiday, but not all taxes are included.

On Dec. 7 fans could compete to book a stay in the “Home Alone” house for $25 per person, but be thankful that didn’t include property taxes.

The most recent property taxes paid on the “Home Alone” house totaled $31,380. Since 2001, the property taxes have jumped 65%, well above inflation.

But the value of 671 Lincoln Ave. in Winnetka isn’t what it used to be. Since 2016, the assessed value has dropped over 20%. The 2021 estimate for the property is $1,334,780.

The house was used in the “Home Alone” Christmas movie in 1990. Since then, the owners have paid over $920,000 in property taxes.

The movie plot includes youngster Kevin McCallister being accidentally left behind from the family vacation. He used a red-hot doorknob and his brother Buzz’s pet tarantula to fend off the “Wet Bandits.” Buzz will host the winners of the $25 stay in the house, which takes place Dec. 12.

While the booby traps worked to fend off the burglars, they haven’t slowed Cook County property tax claimants.

Property taxes from the house support 11 different taxing districts. It’s part of Illinois’ trend of bloated government units, leading the nation with nearly 7,000 separate units.

And the high taxes are not just because it’s a beautiful Winnetka home: Illinois ranks No. 2 among states for the highest property taxes. Illinoisans average $4,942 in property taxes on the U.S median value home, which is double the national average.

It is worse in Chicago, where city leaders enacted a property tax hike for next year.

Property tax increases in Cook County hit minority communities the hardest. A report from the Cook County Treasurer revealed six of the 10 largest residential tax increases were in majority Black and Latino communities.

Altogether, rising pension debt, high property taxes and falling property values are a perfect storm for Illinois homeowners. It doesn’t motivate people to work harder, but to leave the state instead. Protecting homes starts with lawmakers, whose priorities should be to make sure families have homes that aren’t robbed of value.

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