Chicago City Wire

Chicago City Wire

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Property taxes on Chicago's North Side, once lowest, aiming higher

Local Government

By LocalLabs News Service | May 11, 2017

State Comptroller Susana Mendoza paid $471,000 for her home in Portage Park in 2014. The county assessor has it valued at 36 percent less. | Redfin/

In 2014, Illinois State Comptroller Susana Mendoza and her husband paid $471,000 for their newly-renovated 3,500 square-foot three bedroom in Portage Park, on Chicago’s northwest side.

Three years later, the Cook County Assessor currently values that home at $303,060, or 36 percent less than its 2014 sale price.

Mendoza’s property tax bill last year: $5,072, about one percent of that price.

Hers is an effective property tax rate for which most Chicago-area homeowners might only dream.

In Lake County,  a home 30 percent smaller at 111 Park Ave. in Grayslake that sold for 25 percent less in February ($380,000) has a tax bill that’s more than double Mendoza’s: $11,398. Its effective tax rate: three percent.

A recent $540,000 sale at 1431 W. Longwood in McHenry County’s Woodstock has a bill approaching twice that-- $22,604, an effective tax rate of 4.3 percent.

Six miles south in Chicago’s West Garfield Park, where effective property tax rates were 8.76 percent last year, a $471,000 home would have a bill of $41,259.

To be sure, unlike its South and West Sides, Chicago’s North Side has long been home to some the metropolitan area’s lowest property tax bills. 

An analysis of home sales and property taxes by Local Government Information Services (LGIS), which publishes Chicago City Wire, found its rates remain lower than the 2.13 percent state average in all 38 North Side neighborhoods reviewed.

But that’s changing quickly.

Property tax bills up 53 percent

Between 2007 and 2015, median property tax bills rose in 36 of 38 North Side neighborhoods, while median sale prices, adjusted for inflation, fell in 31 of them, according to LGIS.

North Center proved the best real estate market in all of Chicago during the period, with its median sale price up 12 percent to $600,000, from $537,210. But median property taxes grew four times as quickly, by 46 percent, to $8,504 from $5,827 in 2007.

Lincoln Square saw its median sale price grow three percent to $536,500 from 2007 to 2015. Median property taxes there grew eighteen times as fast-- by 53 percent, to $7,471 from $4,878.

In Lincoln Park (sale price +2%/property taxes +32%) and Andersonville (+3%/+46%), home sale prices saw appreciation. But property tax growth far outpaced it.

The Gold Coast (-10%/+35%), River North (-9%/+22%), Lakeview (-9%/+26%) ,Old Town (-14%/+36%) and Wrigleyville (-6%/+31%) all saw their median home price decline while property taxes continued to rise.

Effective Property Tax Rates up 89%

Of 105 Chicago neighborhoods analyzed by Local Government Information Services (LGIS), which publishes Chicago City Wire, 35 have effective property tax rates higher than two percent. All but one of them-- West Rogers Park (2.03%) are on the city’s south or west sides.

Rates are now on the rise.

In 2007, the effective property tax rate in Belmont Cragin was only one percent. It rose to 1.89 percent by 2015, as the neighborhood’s median home sale price fell 44 percent, to $200,000 from $360,045.

Montclare saw its median home price fall the most of all North Side neighborhoods from 2007 to 2015-- 45 percent. Its effective property tax rose 86 percent-- from 1.04 percent to 1.94 percent.

Fifteen North Side communities saw effective property rates rise by more than 50 percent, including Forest Glen (+77%), North Mayfair (+71%), Streeterville (+66%), Jefferson Park (+65%), Norwood Park (+63%), West Rogers Park (+62%), North Park (+57%), Edison Park (+57%), Oriole Park (+56%), Sauganash (+55), Mayfair (+55%), Albany Park (+55%) and Big Oaks (+54%).

2023 Projection

If the next eight years prove like the past eight years, property values in fifteen North Side neighborhoods will fall below $100,000, according to LGIS’ projections.

In six communities-- Montclare, Belmont Cragin, West Rogers Park, Forest Glen, Jefferson Park and Albany Park-- homeowners will have paid more than 40 percent of their 2023 home value in property taxes.

In Montclare, the median home price in 2023 would be $101,093; its owner will have paid $57,042 in property taxes over the previous 16 years.

In Forest Glen, it will fall from $281,500 to $162,361; the owner of a median-priced home will have paid $79,991 in property taxes.


Editor's Note: The Cook County Assessor's office has told LGIS that it disagrees with how it calculates median sale prices. LGIS includes foreclosed homes sold by banks to home buyers in its calculations; the assessor says it is precluded from doing so per state law. 

LGIS stands behind its calculations.

Median Sale Price, 2007 to 2015

LGIS analyzed median home sale prices in 38 neighborhoods on Chicago's North Side between 2007 and 2015.

Neighborhood2007 Median Sale Price2015 Median Sale Price% Change
Forest Glen$488,061$281,500-42%
Jefferson Park$388,620$250,000-36%
West Rogers Park$284,607$188,000-34%
North Mayfair$434,340$292,000-33%
Rogers Park$257,175$175,000-32%
Big Oaks$381,762$263,000-31%
Norwood Park$411,480$286,500-30%
Oriole Park$395,764$279,000-30%
Portage Park$365,760$260,000-29%
North Park$429,768$306,000-29%
Union Ridge$360,045$262,000-27%
Buena Park$289,179$214,000-26%
Edison Park$400,050$303,000-24%
Albany Park$325,755$248,000-24%
Edgewater $257,747$200,000-22%
Near North$394,907$320,000-19%
Old Town$361,188$311,000-14%
Roscoe Village $605,790$547,500-10%
Gold Coast$428,625$387,500-10%
River North$433,483$392,500-9%
Lakeview $468,630$425,000-9%
Goose Island$446,342$414,500-7%
Ravenswood $377,190$376,7500%
Lincoln Park$500,063$511,0002%
Lincoln Square$522,923$536,5003%
Andersonville $394,335$407,0003%
North Center $537,210$600,00012%

Source: Cook County Recorder of Deeds and; 2007 median sale prices inflation-adjusted.

Median Property Tax Bill, 2007 to 2015

LGIS analyzed median property tax bills in 38 neighborhoods on Chicago's North Side between 2007 and 2015.

Neighborhood2007 Median Property Tax2015 Median Property Tax% Change
Lincoln Square$4,878$7,47153%
Ravenswood $4,276$6,37349%
Andersonville $4,995$7,30446%
North Center $5,827$8,50446%
Edison Park$3,714$5,04536%
Old Town$3,027$4,11036%
Roscoe Village $6,307$8,54836%
Gold Coast$3,947$5,32035%
Albany Park$3,512$4,72234%
Lincoln Park$5,062$6,69332%
North Mayfair$3,453$4,54031%
Goose Island$4,134$5,38130%
Norwood Park$3,649$4,74530%
North Park$3,875$4,96028%
Lakeview $4,715$5,92826%
Oriole Park$3,663$4,59826%
West Rogers Park$3,125$3,82622%
River North$4,146$5,06322%
Jefferson Park$3,420$4,14821%
Big Oaks$3,261$3,95521%
Portage Park$3,428$4,07919%
Near North$3,379$4,00418%
Forest Glen$4,282$4,99917%
Union Ridge$3,190$3,71216%
Edgewater $2,048$2,36215%
Buena Park$2,376$2,4583%
Rogers Park$2,357$2,063-12%

Source: Cook County Treasurer and

Effective Property Tax Rates, 2007 to 2015

LGIS analyzed effective property tax rates in 38 neighborhoods on Chicago's North Side between 2007 and 2015. The rate is calculated by dividing the median property tax bill by the median home sale price.

Neighborhood2007 Effective Property Tax Rate2015 Effective Property Tax Rate% Change
Forest Glen1.00%1.78%77%
North Mayfair0.91%1.55%71%
Jefferson Park1.01%1.66%65%
Norwood Park1.01%1.66%63%
West Rogers Park1.26%2.03%62%
North Park1.03%1.62%57%
Edison Park1.06%1.66%57%
Oriole Park1.06%1.65%56%
Albany Park1.23%1.90%55%
Big Oaks0.98%1.50%54%
Portage Park1.07%1.57%46%
Union Ridge1.01%1.42%40%
Old Town0.96%1.32%38%
Roscoe Village 1.19%1.56%31%
Lincoln Square1.07%1.39%31%
Ravenswood 1.30%1.69%31%
Gold Coast1.05%1.37%30%
Edgewater 0.91%1.18%30%
Near North0.98%1.25%28%
Andersonville 1.45%1.79%24%
Goose Island1.06%1.30%23%
Buena Park0.94%1.15%22%
Lakeview 1.15%1.39%21%
River North1.09%1.29%18%
North Center 1.24%1.42%14%
Lincoln Park1.16%1.31%13%
Rogers Park1.05%1.18%13%

Sources: Cook County Recorder of Deeds, Cook County Treasurer and

Projected Median Sale Price, 2023

If the next eight years are like the last eight for real estate, LGIS projected median sale prices in 38 neighborhoods on Chicago's North Side in 2023. How much will the median homeowner have paid in property taxes between 2015 and 2023?

Neighborhood2015 Median Sale Price2023 Median Sale Price (Proj.)Property Taxes Paid 2007 - 2023% Paid of 2023 Median
West Rogers Park$188,000$124,185$61,21149%
Forest Glen$281,500$162,361$79,99149%
Jefferson Park$250,000$160,825$66,37441%
Albany Park$248,000$188,804$75,54640%
Norwood Park$286,500$199,481$75,92538%
Oriole Park$279,000$196,686$73,56737%
North Mayfair$292,000$196,307$72,64637%
North Park$306,000$217,876$79,36836%
Portage Park$260,000$184,821$65,25935%
Edison Park$303,000$229,494$80,71635%
Big Oaks$263,000$181,184$63,28035%
Union Ridge$262,000$190,654$59,39831%
Andersonville $407,000$420,072$116,85828%
Rogers Park$175,000$119,082$33,00928%
Roscoe Village $547,500$494,819$136,77128%
Ravenswood $376,750$376,311$101,96227%
Buena Park$214,000$158,366$39,32525%
Near North$320,000$259,302$64,06025%
Lakeview $425,000$385,432$94,85325%
Old Town$311,000$267,786$65,75425%
Edgewater $200,000$155,191$37,79524%
Gold Coast$387,500$350,321$85,11524%
River North$392,500$355,392$81,00123%
Goose Island$414,500$384,930$86,09822%
Lincoln Square$536,500$550,430$119,54022%
Lincoln Park$511,000$522,177$107,08721%
North Center $600,000$670,129$136,07120%

Sources: Cook County Recorder of Deeds, Cook County Treasurer and

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Organizations in this Story

Portage ParkLincoln SquareThe EdgewaterLincoln ParkCook County AssessorEdison ParkOriole ParkCook County RecorderCook County TreasurerLocal Government Information Services

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