Cook County Property Taxes Cheat the Poor

In Cook County, which contains the city of Chicago and some of its suburbs, property values have been manipulated to disguise the value of homes, helping the rich at the expense of the poor (particularly poor minorities).

1 minute read

June 10, 2017, 9:00 AM PDT

By Casey Brazeal @northandclark


Chicago

Natapong Ratanavi / Shutterstock

"For years the county’s property tax system created an unequal burden on residents, handing huge financial breaks to homeowners who are well-off while punishing those who have the least, particularly people living in minority communities," Jason Grotto reports for the Chicago Tribune.

This burden came from the County's Assessors’ office, which the Tribune's analysis found consistently overvalued homes in working-class minority neighborhoods like Little Village and North Lawndale, while underestimating the value of homes in rich neighborhoods like Glencoe, the Gold Coast, and Lakeview. Taxes are paid based on the assessed values, meaning, "People living in poorer areas tended to pay more in taxes as a percentage of their home’s value than residents in more affluent communities."

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