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DuPage County Clerk: Home values down, tax rates up for fifth straight year

Published: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 3:28 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:51 p.m. CDT

Despite a fifth consecutive year of declining home values, DuPage County residents will see an average increase of 4 percent on tax bills in 2014, according to a report from the office of County Clerk Gary King presented during a press conference Tuesday.

The assessed value of county land dropped 5.4 percent in 2013 to about $32.8 billion from about $34.6 billion in 2012, the report said. At the same time, the average rate levied by taxing bodies across the county rose 9.36 percent.

Chief Deputy Clerk Paul Hinds said this year's numbers continue trends established by the 2009 recession. However, King said, it appears property values could be rebounding after an 8 percent decrease in 2012.

"Hopefully the reduction in the value of property in DuPage is slowing down," he said. "Within a year or two, we should be back going up, meaning that the downturn in the county the last five years is softening."

Of the 384 taxing districts in the county, 184 were eligible for the state-mandated tax cap. Every year, school and park districts, non-home rule municipalities and other taxing bodies can only increase their annual tax levy by the Consumer Price Index or five percent, whichever is lower. Of those, 152 were reduced to meet the tax cap for a total of $286.5 million.

The CPI was 1.7 percent in 2013, down from 3 percent the previous year, meaning affected taxing bodies were required to levy for less than last year. Neverthless, that wasn't enough to keep things even.

"You're paying more because your districts asked for more," Hinds said.

School districts are set to take in 73.32 percent of county real estate taxes. Cities will take 9.74 percent; parks 5.09 percent; the county 2.63 percent; the forest preserve 2.08 percent; and townships, fire districts and others divvy the remainder.

There was an increase of about $40 million in new construction, up to $180.8 million, and a growth in the number of taxable parcels, up 46 to 334,835.

King said the county likely won't see any large increases in the number of taxing bodies in the near future.

"Over the years, the forest preserve has gotten more land, municipalities have gotten more park land, and in almost every town in the county you're seeing bigger houses being built," he said. "We're probably at a figure where, population-wise, we're pretty full."

Residents can expect property tax bills to arrive May 1. They are due in equal installments June 1 and Sept. 1.

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By the numbers

• Property values down – 5.4 percent

• Tax rate increase – 9.36 percent

• Average tax bill increase – 3.96 percent

• New construction value – $180.8 million

• Total tax dollars extended – $2.63 billion

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Highest tentative principal tax rates by municipality and township

• Hanover Park (Wayne) – 12.7 percent

• Glendale Heights (Bloomingdale) – 12.64 percent

• West Chicago (Winfield) – 11.42 percent

• West Chicago (Wayne) – 11.3 percent

• Carol Stream (Bloomingdale) –  10.21 percent

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Lowest tentative principal tax rates by municipality and township

• Oak Brook (York) – 3.84 percent

• Willowbrook (Downers Grove) – 5.18 percent

• Burr Ridge (Downers Grove) – 5.35 percent

• Hinsdale (Downers Grove) – 5.73 percent

• Hinsdale (York) – 5.74 percent

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