Alton, IL

Realtors Lament Property Tax Impact

Story by WBGZ Radio

House-hunting season in Illinois is around the corner, but real estate agents say property taxes are putting a damper on sales.

Real estate agents in Illinois say they often see homes going undervalued or not selling because they carry a hefty price tag for local government.

In Rockford, where property taxes are not only some of the highest in Illinois, but among the highest in the nation, real estate agent Dianne Parvin said it’s common for homeowners to drop their price because the cost of government is more than they can afford.

“The taxes are higher than the mortgage payment,” she said. “They can afford the house but they can’t afford the taxes on the property.”

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Across the state in Moline, Mike Wendt is a real estate agent and city alderman. He said local property taxes are just a part of the local housing bill.

“[Property taxes] are usually the shorthand look but when you look at it more broadly, it’s just one of many factors,” he said.

Illinois saw a 2.5 percent increase in home sales from February 2018 compared to 12 months prior, according to Zillow.

Financial site WalletHub recently said Illinois has the second highest property taxes in the nation, costing homeowners more than $4,000 annually for an average home.

Defenders of high local taxes say they typically translate into better local services.

A 2017 ranking of states with the best high schools by U.S. News and World Report placed Illinois at 22nd. Illinois also has 7,000 units of local government, higher than any other state.

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