Are Illinois Property Taxes Really The Worst?

Mar 6, 2017

It’s a common complaint: “Illinois has the worst property taxes in the United States.”

That may be great for making political hay, but it isn’t entirely true – according to a recent study by WalletHub.com of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Illinois ranked 50th in that study with an effective average annual property tax rate of 2.3 percent. But that’s one notch above New Jersey, which imposes an average effective property tax rate of 2.35 percent.

In terms of dollars, that’s pretty small change. It means that Illinois residents pay $7 less per month than folks in the Garden State for a home worth $179,000. That’s the home value that WalletHub uses as a benchmark for its study and very close to the U.S. median home value in 2015. The Illinois total tax bill on such a residence would be $4,105, compared to $4,189 in New Jersey.

Just north of the Land of Lincoln, however, Wisconsin homeowners have it somewhat better as a result of ranking 37th in the study. Their property taxes for the benchmark home are $3,499 – a savings of more than $42 per month over the Illinois cost.

The study puts Hawai’i at the top of the list, with an effective property tax rate of just 0.27 percent – or $487 annually on the benchmark home. Other things are a bit more expensive there, however.

For example, the study lists the median home value in our 50th state as $515,300. That figure is $173,800 in Illinois and $165,800 in Wisconsin.

WalletHub used U.S. Census data as of 2015, the most recent numbers available, to determine real-estate property tax rates.