Of all the nuances in my work helping buyers and seller close their real estate transactions, few facets of the process cause as much confusion as Cook County property taxes. There are a great many reasons for this, but on the bottom line, it is just darn messed up.
The property tax system pits citizen tax payers against citizen consumers of governmental services. We want the good services and benefits our State, County, and City...but we would like them a whole lot better if someone else would pay for them.
Carrie Porter over at the Morton Grove Patch is running a week long series on the Cook County property tax system. I highly recommend taking a look at her reports:
- A video explaining the basic computation of property tax bills
- A look at the extra burden our tax system places on business owners. (You think your residential bill is unreasonable?)
- An explanation of how / why owners of neighboring houses of the same relative value can pay radically different tax bills
- A fascinating peak at the way local governmental units work together to fight back against property owner tax appeals
It ain't pretty folks, but it is uniquely ours