June 8, 2016

Facts About McHenry County Property Taxes

McHenry County has one of the highest median property taxes in the United States, higher than 99% of the other counties in America. McHenry County is ranked 31st of the 3143 counties in America in order of median property taxes.

McHenry County residents pay a higher percentage of their income in property taxes than those in 99% of the other counties in America. The average yearly property tax paid by McHenry County residents amounts to about 6.24% of their yearly income. McHenry County is ranked 28th of the 3143 counties in America for property taxes as a percentage of median income.

McHenry County has the 4th highest median property tax in Illinois by county ($5,226)

Source: Tax-Rates.org

Illinois homeowners face the highest property tax bills in the nation – double the national median.

Property taxes are the single largest tax in Illinois, burdening residents far more than either income or sales taxes.

Twenty years ago, residential taxpayers paid 52 percent of all property taxes. Today, they pay over 64 percent.

Since 1990, residential property taxes have grown 3.3 times faster than the state’s median household income.

Since 1963, Illinois property taxes have grown 14 times faster than the state’s population.

If Illinois froze its residential property taxes today, it would take 28 years for residents’ property-tax burden to return to 1990 levels.

In the aggregate, property-tax extensions have grown to $27.1 billion in 2013 from $11.7 billion in 1993. Compared to inflation, property taxes are 50 percent higher today than what they were 20 years ago, for a net gain of $9 billion. Every single class of properties subject to property taxes has contributed to that growth.

Total non-school property-tax extensions for the collar counties grew even more rapidly in the past decade than in Cook County.

During the 2000s, non-school property taxes in the collar counties increased 93.6 percent, compared to 24.7 percent for inflation.

Illinois has more than 7,000 units of government – by far the largest number in any state. The massive number of these taxing bodies in our state drive up property taxes. Jack Franks’ local government consolidation bills are helping to reduce these extra property tax-eating layers of government.

Source: Corelogic Real Estate Study, April 2016 and Illinois Policy Institute Analysis, April 2016

Many McHenry County homeowners now pay more in property taxes than they do on their mortgages.

Take Cassandra Bajak, a lifelong Illinoisan and mother of two. Bajak and her husband, an Army veteran, built their Crystal Lake home in 2002. Their children were born and raised there.

Over the last 13 years, the Bajaks’ property-tax bill has doubled. They now pay $1,500 a month in property taxes and insurance. Their mortgage payment is $1,100 a month.

“We’re being taxed out of our home,” Cassandra said.

“It’s basically like we’re renting our home from the government. [The rate] is well over 4 percent of what the house is worth. The only reason we would ever leave our home or this state is property taxes, and that’s what’s going to happen.”

Bajak said she and her husband plan to move their family to Florida within the next two years. Her reasoning is straightforward: “Taxes are less, and schools are the same,” she said.

Source: Illinois Policy Institute Analysis, April 2016

For further reading from the Northwest Herald: McHenry County Property Taxes: Residents Vote With Their Feet