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Analysis Reveals Rockford’s Problem with High Taxes

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An analysis by the online financial ‘Wallethub’ of property taxes nationwide shows Illinois has the second highest property tax rates in the nation behind New Jersey.  More concerning for Rockford residents however, the analysis also revealed that Rockford’s property taxes are far higher than even the already high state average.

That’s because on average, the ‘real property tax rate’, or the actual amount of taxes paid annually in property taxes compared to the value of the home, is 2.32% in Illinois according to Wallethub’s analysis.  However, Rockford’s real property tax rate is about double that.

For example, a home on English Lane on Rockford randomly chosen on the real estate website Zillow.com is currently for sale at a price of $181,900.  Should the home buyers pay full asking price and have that price assessed as full market value, the new homeowner’s property tax bill would be $8461 based on the home’s current property tax rate.  However, were Rockford at the state average for real property tax rates, their annual bill would be $4220 per year, a savings of more than $350 per month.

And that is comparing Rockford’s current property tax rates to the state average which is already the 2nd highest in the nation.  Wallethub found the average property owner nationwide pays about $2200 in property taxes per year.

The analysis comes at time when Rockford voters are being asking to consider approving ‘Home Rule’, which would give city officials among other things the power to levy new taxes without voter approval.

Supporters say it would give city officials more flexibility to tax and spend in a manner which makes more sense locally and is not dependent on state mandates and limitations.  Opponents argue that in an environment where Rockford homeowners already bear a tax burden far higher than even the state average, providing city officials with the power to levy new taxes without voter approval is not the answer.

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