Defuse the property tax bomb

By Joe Cahill:

Politicians can’t afford to ignore growing public resentment of excessive property taxes, a powder keg that needs only a spark to explode into a full-fledged tax revolt with unpredictable consequences.

Across Cook County, many homeowners this month will finish paying their largest single annual expense.

I’m not talking about mortgage payments, college tuition or the bill for a costly surgical procedure. Residential property taxes now consume a larger share of income than any of those expenses in a growing number of households.

As they write checks for the second installment of 2018 property taxes, due Aug. 1, homeowners confront an unsettling but undeniable reality. For many, property taxes have gone from a steep but acceptable cost of homeownership to an unsustainable financial burden.

Longtime homeowners have seen property tax bills double, triple, even quadruple over the past couple of decades. Illinois has the highest property tax burden of any state except New Jersey, according to an analysis by WalletHub.

Read more: Crain’s