Unbroken record on overtaxing those who use land…

…and undertaxing those who just sit on land, waiting for its value to rise.

The 2006 data are now published, and once again the Cook County Assessor has overassessed houses (and the lots they occupy) in Chicago relative to vacant land.  As in the previous year, data from actual sales show that, as a percentage of  sales price, assessments on houses (including land) average 50% higher than assessments on vacant land. This is the reverse of the legal requirement, under which real estate which includes houses is supposed to be assessed at a 1/3 lower percentage of value than vacant land.

This amounts to is a further penalty on homeowners (and owners of condo’s, and 2-4 flats, too), as owners of vacant land aren’t carrying their legal (let alone fair) share of the tax burden.

Is Cook County uniquely corrupt or incompetent in this regard? Other Illinois counties do not even pretend to assess residential parcels at a lower percentage of value than vacant parcels.  Rather, they are obligated to assess everything at the same percentage of value.   In most cases where data are reported, however,  the assessment as a percentage of sales price is considerably lower for vacant parcels than for improved real estate.

Source: Data compiled by the Illinois Department of Revenue, which can be seen here (look at the “ratio” links under “property tax.”

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5 Responses to “Unbroken record on overtaxing those who use land…”

  1. […] by taxpayer on October 14, 2008 Last month I used Illinois Department of Revenue data to blog about the Cook County Assessor’s failure to properly value vacant land.  Our good buddies at the […]

  2. […] for New Mexico’s SB333, which would reduce real estate taxes on vacant land and make up the shortfall by raising taxes on homeowners and everyone else who actually owns (or rents)  land with a structure on it.  I imagine some land speculators find themselves in financial difficulty, but they still have enough to influence a few legislators, and I guess this is intended to bail them out.  Perhaps they just want to get legally what owners of Cook County vacant land get in practice. […]

  3. […] taxes.  You know, the stuff you do?  Can’t you improve that?  Maybe you could start by assessing vacant land properly?  And making sure that land value is fully included in all assessments?  That’s not going […]

  4. […] are now supposed to be assessed the same, which is probably good since Assessor Houlihan just couldn’t seem to accept that, under the old system, vacant was supposed to be assessed at a higher percentage of value than […]

  5. […] sales prices. The results for 2007(pdf)? Residential 8.34%, vacant 7.81%. (Not quite as bad as some previous years, […]

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