Cook County Property Tax

Property tax rates in Cook County average around 2% and are some of the most expensive in the country.
Written by David Ghanizadeh-Khoob
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Updated on Jun 01, 2022
With an average tax rate of around 2%, Cook County residents pay some of the highest property tax rates in the country, averaging $3,681 per year.
A part of owning property is paying yearly taxes for it. Tax rates can be confusing and will vary from county to county. Couple that with the constantly changing prices caused by market fluctuations, and it can be hard to know where your tax rates come from, where your taxes go, and how to properly pay them.
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Property tax 101

Property taxes are how local governments collect funding from people who have purchased a property in the community.
Here are some of the basics that you need to know about property taxes:
  • Property taxes are assigned by municipalities and counties to pay for community services and public works
  • Most property taxes apply to real property like land, businesses, and homes
  • Property taxes are determined by your local tax assessor, who assigns a fair market value for your home. The market value is then multiplied by your local tax rate
  • Market conditions and local budgets will affect property tax rates, which means they change year-to-year

What is the property tax rate in Cook County?

Estimates of the average property tax rates in Cook County vary between 1.38% and 2.32% of the assessed fair market value, a fair bit higher than the national average of 1.1%. 
Even at the low end of estimates, Cook County has one of the highest property tax rates in the country and is near the top of the list for Illinois counties. On average, residents pay $3,681 a year in property taxes. 
You can get a detailed property tax overview for your home or business at the
Cook County Treasurer’s website.

How Cook County property taxes are determined

Property tax calculations in Cook County are complicated. Here is a brief breakdown.
It starts with the county assessor's fair market value assessment, which is based on the value your property would have if it were to sell at the time of assessment. This is then multiplied by the property assessment rate of 10% to get a “property assessed value”.
This property assessed value is then multiplied by the state “equalization factor” which changes each year. This brings the three-year average of median assessment levels to 33% of market value. The purpose of this is to bring all properties in the county to a uniform level of assessment.
This “equalized assessed value” is then multiplied by your local tax rate, which is a number that your local jurisdiction sets based on its operational needs and can change year to year. After considering any exemptions for your property, you finally have your property tax rate.
Basically, your property tax is based on one-third of the average market value and the amount of money your district needs that year. Some districts require voting to increase their tax rates, while others don’t, affecting yearly tax increases as well.

What do Cook County property taxes pay for?

The specifics of where your money goes vary between municipalities. In no particular order, these are some of the things that your property taxes are put towards:
  • Public schools 
  • Municipal debt services 
  • Pensions
  • Public libraries
  • The bond and interest fund
  • The public safety fund
  • The health enterprise fund
  • Corporate and election funds
  • The workers and unemployment compensation tort immunity fund

How to pay taxes in Cook County

Cook County property taxes are due each year on March 1st and usually in early October for the first and second installments respectively.
Cook County offers a few convenient ways to pay your property taxes:
  • Online: Through the
    Cook County Treasurer portal
    , you can make payments, update your information, and view important updates related to your property.
  • By mail: Send your payment with an original early payment tax bill or a
    downloadable PDF tax bill
    to Cook County Treasurer, PO Box 805436, Chicago, IL, 60680-4155.
  • In person: You can pay in person at the Cook County Treasurer’s Office located at 118 N. Clark St., Room 112, Chicago, Illinois. You will need to bring an original early payment tax bill or a
    downloadable PDF tax bill
  • In person at Chase Bank: You can bring an original early payment tax bill or a
    downloadable PDF tax bill
    to any Chase Bank in Illinois and make a payment in person.
  • In person at an affiliated community bank: The Cook County Treasurer is part of an
    outreach program with a list of community banks
    where you can also pay your property taxes in person.

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