top of page

Homeowners in many Chicago suburbs face collapsing home values and soaring property taxes

Tucked on the outer edges of southern Cook County, suburban Park Forest was built to help answer a housing shortage in the 1940s as GIs flooded home from World War II. Before long, it became a model of suburban living, featuring enviable public schools and an attractive downtown shopping center anchored by a Marshall Field’s.

Today, the legacy department store is long gone. The high school, Rich East, is facing such low enrollment that it is being considered for closure. And, as of 2017, financially strapped homeowners were stuck with the second-highest property-tax rate in Cook County.

The “Southland Reactivation Act,” stalled in a state House committee, would for tax purposes reduce the fair cash value of select properties in the townships of Bremen, Bloom, Calumet, Rich, Thornton, and Worth by two-thirds for up to a dozen years. Once the properties are back on the tax rolls and certified by the municipality, the properties’ tax liability would be limited to $75,000 a year for the first three years.

Kristi DeLaurentiis, executive director of the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, said she hopes to revisit the bill as early as the veto session in the fall.

“I think we have long had a challenge with the changing economy over time,” DeLaurentiis said. “What we have been focused on is ‘how do we create a future for ourselves, what’s the new market going to be?’” Please click here to read Casey Toner’s story in the BGA Newsroom/Crain’s Chicago Business. A related story, Property taxes driving residents out, Batinick says, is in the Will County Gazette.

3 views0 comments


bottom of page