Illinois Policy: Declining home values, rising property taxes amount to a shrinking population
The hits keep on coming for Illinois homeowners. Even as residents across the state still struggle to fully recover from the last housing-market crash, property tax bills have continued to spiral upward, soaring by an average of 9 percent over the last decade after adjusting for inflation.
At the same time, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reports that average home prices have lost more than one-fifth of their total value since 2007. Over that same period, the drop in home values across the state remain some 300 percent worse than the national average, according to Illinois Policy Institute (IPI).
Given such stifling trends, IPI argues that it is no wonder the total population across the state is down over each of the last five years.
“Home ownership is the biggest investment most families make, but it’s not only a financial investment – it’s an investment in that community and the state of Illinois," the government watchdog group posted on its website. "It’s an investment fewer people are making.”
Some argue that making matters even worse is the fact that lawmakers in Illinois never adequately reduced property tax levies after the recession had ended, leaving a shrinking tax base to grapple with the effects of a rising tax burden. And the upside-down equation may not be primed to right itself anytime soon.
“Home prices are tied in part to the demand of prospective homeowners,” IPI reported. “Without serious property tax relief, it is likely fewer will demand planting roots in Illinois.”