Tax rates released by clerk’s office

The Cook County Clerk’s Office released the 2015 property tax rates for the more than 1,400 taxing agencies in the county, the final step in the process before bills are mailed.

The average residential taxpayer in Chicago should expect to see a 12.8 percent increase in their tax bill while home owners in suburban Cook County will see their property tax bills go up slightly, according to the clerk’s office. The tax bills will be due on Aug. 1.

The City of Chicago was reassessed in 2015, resulting in a 9.3 percent increase in equalized assessed value. While the city increased its pension levy by $318 million this year, because of the reassessment the city tax rate increased less than 1 percent over 2014, according to the clerk’s office.

Cook County is divided into the regions, each of which is reassessed by the Cook County Assessor’s Office every 3 years. The southern suburbs were reassessed in 2014 and while the northern suburbs will be reassessed later this year.

Tax rates are calculated by dividing the amount of money each taxing agency or district has requested in the levy by the total taxable value within each district. A taxing agency or district is a body of government such as a school district, a library or a municipality which levies real estate taxes. The tax rates of all districts that service each property are added to create the applicable composite tax rate.

The overall equalized assessed value in Cook County increased by 3.5 percent this year, largely due to the 9.3 percent increase in Chicago. Taxable values in the northern and southern suburbs decreased by an average of 2.5%, primarily due to a reduction in the state equalization factor.

The equalization factor issued by the Illinois Department of Revenue has decreased 2 percent from 2.7253 last year to 2.6685 this year. To ensure uniform assessment throughout the state, the department calculates the factor needed to bring the assessed value of all properties in Cook County to a level equal to 33.3 percent of the total market value of all county real estate.

The Property Tax Extension Limitation Law limits the increase in revenue that districts may collect to the rate of inflation. In most cases, districts this year were limited to an increase equal to the 2015 Consumer Price Index of 0.8 percent. However, home rule districts are exempt from the limitation.