Cook County home values slump while property taxes rise, report finds
Average home prices in Cook County have slumped by nearly a third in value over the last decade while property taxes have continued to skyrocket, according to a Federal Housing Finance Agency report.
Since the 2007 housing market crash, the average home value in Cook County has fallen by 31 percent, compared to a 22 percent rise in property taxes after being adjusted for inflation.
While many homes across the country have yet to return to their pre-recession levels, even by those standards local homeowners are facing a one-two punch that has heavily contributed to the state’s ongoing outmigration crisis.
According to an Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) report, the decline in average home price in Cook County is nearly 500 percent worse than the rest of the country, with the biggest driver of Illinois’ back-breaking trend being still rising pension government workers.
“Pension liabilities have risen faster than taxpayers’ ability to pay, forcing state and local governments to constantly scramble for new sources of revenue – often in the form of property tax hikes,” IPI noted in its report. “This diminishes homeowners’ standard of living, and potentially their home equity, while jeopardizing government workers’ retirement security.”
One way IPI suggests of stemming the tide is through constitutional pension reform.
“... Illinois can protect workers’ already-earned benefits while slowing the accrual of future benefits not yet earned – and eliminate the need for endless property tax hikes,” the government watchdog website wrote.