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State tax breaks hurt Chicago’s suburbs

Given low property values in the southern suburbs, some people are now paying nothing in property taxes. The suburb of Harvey saw 700 homes come off its tax rolls, costing it 5.6 percent of its assessed value. “Some seniors are not paying taxes at all,” says Hazel Crest Village President Vernard Alsberry Jr. “It’s created a burden for our other taxpayers.”

The losers in this process include local commerce. In response to the state action, Cook County decided to do away with a 10 percent tax break for small businesses. As a result, some commercial property owners are seeing their rates go up for two different reasons: the decline in residential tax bills and the cancellation of the business tax incentive program. This “double whammy,” Alsberry says, has already brought some development programs in the south suburbs to a halt…Please click here to read Alan Greenblatt’s story in Governing.

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