How to keep your home tax bill down


(AP) — If you live in a county with no real estate tax, you might have a hard time getting your home appraised.

But that’s not what’s going on in WIND MERE, Illinois.

The state is paying more than $400 million in real estate sales taxes in the last two years.

That’s more than the annual average in the U.S. and is outpacing the $160 million in tax revenue from the state’s annual sales tax collections, according to data from the Illinois Property Assessment Authority.

The data, which the AP obtained under the state open records law, shows that the state is collecting more than double what the national average and is responsible for a larger share of total Illinois real estate property tax revenue than the rest of the country.

The Illinois Property Assessor’s Association, a trade group for the real estate industry, said in a statement that “we applaud the Illinois Tax Commission for working to reform the tax code and ensure Illinois homeowners are receiving fair property assessments.”

In addition to real estate transactions, the Illinois tax code allows property owners to deduct taxes on real estate they rent out to non-residents.

The deduction can be limited to 10 percent of the value of a unit, or $1,000,000 for a two- or three-unit unit.

The AP’s analysis shows the average property tax bill for a single-family home in the city of Windmere rose from $1.86 million in 2016 to $1 million in 2018.

That represents a 26 percent increase in real property taxes, which would have cost taxpayers nearly $2.7 billion.

Windmere has the third-highest property tax rate in the state, behind Windsor and Lake Forest.

That rate is about half of the statewide average of 18.6 percent.

Property taxes on commercial property are about half that amount, according the AP analysis.

The city and its suburban neighbors are paying about $50 million more in property taxes than the state average.

Property values in Windmere have increased by more than 40 percent over the past decade, even as the city has seen an exodus of residents.

The real estate value tax is not tied to income or the size of the homeowner’s bank account.

It is calculated on the market value of the home.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.