West Cook News

West Cook News

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Property tax roundup: Oak Park, Maywood, Stone Park have highest tax bills in West Cook County

Real Estate

By LGIS News Service | Mar 11, 2019

1001 N. Euclid Ave., Oak Park | Redfin

IRS lawyer-turned insurance CEO Vikki L. Pryor paid $757,000 for a four-bedroom, four-bath home at 1001 N. Euclid Ave. in northeast Oak Park in August 2005, or $975,657 in today’s dollars.

The home sold on Feb. 26 for $590,000, or 40 percent less than what she paid for it.

Pryor’s property taxes rose over the same period. They were $9,249 when she bought the home in 2005, an effective tax rate of 0.9 percent.  Last year, they were twice that -- $20,652, or 3.5 percent of her sale price.

All told, Pryor paid $207,132 in property taxes over 13 years of ownership.

Pryor's story is now commonplace in Oak Park, which along with Maywood and Stone Park, saw the highest effective tax rates in west Cook County in the second part of 2018, according to an analysis by Local Government Services (LGIS), which publishes West Cook News.

The effective property tax rate, or the percentage of your home’s value that you pay in property taxes each year, averages 2.31 percent in Illinois, three times the 0.87 percent tax rate in neighboring Indiana, according to WalletHub.com.

Nationally, the average effective property tax rate is 1.3 percent.

Of the 34 West Cook County communities surveyed by LGIS, 15 have effective property tax rates higher than the state average. Oak Park’s was 3.12 percent, Maywood’s was 3.15 percent and Stone Park topped the list in West Cook County with a 3.33 percent effective property tax rate. 

$81,218 in taxes on a home worth $61,000

Restauranteur MacArthur “Mac” Alexander, owner of MacArthur's Restaurant in Chicago's Austin neighborhood, sold his Maywood four-bedroom, two-bath historic Victorian at 903 N. Third Ave. on Feb. 3 for $61,000.

He originally paid $400,000 -- $467,642 in today’s dollars -- for the home in November 2008, according to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds.

Alexander’s taxes at the time of purchase were $7,171, or 1.5 percent of his purchase price.

His taxes last year: $9,379, or 15 percent of his home sale price. Cook County claims the home is currently worth $133,318, an effective rate of 7 percent.

In 10 years of ownership, Alexander paid $81,218 in property taxes.

Zillow currently lists 88 homes in pre-foreclosure in Maywood. Property taxes are a hurdle for potential investors.

One of them is a four-bedroom, two bath at 1835 S. 6th Avenue that sold for $175,000 in 2004, or $235,928 in today's dollars. Its property taxes then were $5,062, or 2.9 percent of the home's value.

The home plummeted in value after the real estate crash; an investor picked it up for $44,500 in April 2014, then sold it seven months later for $150,000 to Mynor Rivera, a chef who, at the time, was running student dining operations at nearby Dominican University in River Forest.

Rivera's tax bill then-- $6,905, or 4.6 percent of his purchase price, more than 350% of the national average.

But that wasn't high enough, apparently. His bill rose to $10,350 last year, or 6.9 percent of his original purchase price. 

The purchaser of this home for $150,000, putting 20 percent down, would pay $567 in principal and interest and $862.50 in property taxes. 

Even Maywood celebrities cannot escape its high property taxes.

A 430 percent property tax hike also sent the childhood home of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton into foreclosure. 

His son, Fred Hampton Jr., barely avoided having the Maywood home auctioned out from under him late last year after the tax bill jumped from $1,919 annually to $8,000. 

Grady Rivers, Jr., brother of longtime NBA star Glenn "Doc" Rivers," pays $7,877 in property taxes on his three bedroom, two bath in South Maywood. That's up 550 percent from the $1,442 he paid in 1999.

The Rivers' paid $53,000 for the home in 1989-- $108,363 in today's dollars. They have paid $99,639 in property taxes on it over the past 20 years alone. Cook County says it is currently worth $166,360.


West Cook Effective Property Tax Rates July 1-Dec. 31, 2018

CommunityEffective Tax RateMedian Tax BillMedian Sale Price
Stone Park3.33%$4,651$139,500
Oak Park3.12%$10,492$336,000
Willow Springs2.71%$6,243$230,500
River Forest2.61%$13,179$505,000
Franklin Park2.56%$5,219$204,000
Melrose Park2.52%$4,858$193,000
Forest Park2.39%$5,445$228,000
La Grange Park2.37%$7,511$317,500
River Grove2.35%$5,351$227,500
Elmwood Park2.29%$5,490$240,000
La Grange2.18%$9,393$431,250
Schiller Park2.10%$4,258$202,500
La Grange Highlands2.08%$5,760$276,750
Harwood Heights1.91%$4,757$248,750
Indian Head Park1.88%$4,498$239,500
North Riverside1.87%$4,404$235,000
Western Springs1.81%$10,034$555,000
Burr Ridge1.78%$9,445$530,000

Sources: Cook County Recorder of Deeds, Cook County Treasurer; Tracks all communities with more than ten sales from July 1-Dec. 31, 2018; Communities with fewer than five sales excluded, including Forest View (4) and Bedford Park (2). Includes the Cook County portion of Hinsdale (14% of properties); the rest of Hinsdale is in DuPage County.


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Organizations in this Story

Cook County AssessorCook CountyVillage of MaywoodVillage of Oak Park

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