Crain’s Report Highlights Suburbs’ ‘Spiral Of Decline’

Tuesday, July 30, 2019 || By Local News Curator || @maywoodnews

Featured image: A Crain’s heat map of 2017 property tax rates in Cook County. | Crain’s Chicago Business

Last month, Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough released the 2018 Cook County tax rates for the county’s more than 1,400 taxing bodies — the final step in the process before tax bills are mailed out, her office said at the time.

The 2017 composite property tax rates for Bellwood and Maywood were already among the highest in the county. In 2018, the rates increased. Bellwood’s rate rose roughly 8 percent, going from 17.8 to 19.2, while Maywood’s rose around 5 percent, going from 20 to 21.1.

(By the way, second installment property taxes are due before 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 1, to avoid hefty late charges imposed by state law, Treasurer Maria Pappas said. Payments can be made at

The 2018 property tax rates tell what has, by now, become an old story. Crain’s Chicago Business recently put a spotlight on the narrative with its new report: “In suburbs, spiral of decline becomes homeowners’ burden.”

The Crain’s report features a striking heat map of 2017 property tax rates across Cook County. Bellwood, Maywood and nearly two dozen south suburbs like Dolton and Harvey stick out like throbbing thumbs.

A Crain’s heat map of 2017 property tax rates in Cook County. Bellwood and Maywood are in the red circle. | Crain’s Chicago Business

The report is also interesting because of its explanation for what it calls a “phenomenon of disinvestment”:

“Underpinning this fiscal quagmire is the deindustrialization that began in the 1970s and accelerated in the 1980s, wreaking havoc on steel and other manufacturing industries throughout the Midwest and locally in south Chicago and nearby suburbs.

“Still vulnerable from the changing economy, these same areas were walloped a decade ago by the Great Recession, which caused household incomes and median home values nationwide to plummet.”

Read the full Crain’s report here. And read Crain’s columnist Joe Cahill’s take on the urgency of the property tax problem in Cook County here. VFP

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