The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 |

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How have property tax levels in Oak Park impacted you?

The Taxing Body Efficiency Task Force is seeking public input as it develops recommendations to identify cost efficiencies in the public services provided by the local government bodies that rely on Oak Park property taxes as a major source of funding. Public comments are being sought on the following topic through May 13, 2018:

How have property tax levels in Oak Park impacted you?

Comments are monitored and will not appear immediately.



Submitted by Ray Muccianti on

Takes away our ability to enjoy our retirement at every increase. Our income does not keep up with village expenses

Submitted by Doug on

Property tax has tripled since I purchased my home. I now pay 50% more on property tax monthly than my mortgage.

Unsustainable. And it’s the taxing bodies greedy silo driven fault.

Submitted by Neal Buer on

When I bought my house, my taxes were 4% of my income. Now my taxes are over 50% of my gross income. When you retire, your income drops but taxes keep going up. At some point, you have to leave. It’s like being foreclosed on.

Submitted by Ben DeBruin on

We have looked to buy a house outside of Oak Park, even though we love to live here simply because our taxes have become $20k a year. This amount of a tax bill is insane for a house we barely paid over $500k for 5 years ago.

Submitted by Ben DeBruin on

We have looked to buy a house outside of Oak Park, even though we love to live here simply because our taxes have become $20k a year. This amount of a tax bill is insane for a house we barely paid over $500k for 5 years ago.

Submitted by james Butler on

yes they have impacted me and my family here.

when we purchased our house in 2001 our taxes were 8500 give or take s little. now our taxes are approaching 17k and we “fight” them. i get it yhat cook county

Submitted by Pat Davis on

It was quite a shock to see the tax bill be $1000.00 more than budgeted for. I don’t get any increases in income, which meant giving up some needed purchases.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The property tax rates have seriously impacted my budget. I am hoping to move once my current 7th grader graduates from 8th grade, before my current 4th grader enters middle school. I live in a townhouse without a yard and I pay more than 1,000 in taxes each month. Additionally, I have become more cynical regarding the services Oak Park provides. For the rate of taxes, I feel there should be better road conditions, nicer landscaping, a greater sense of safety and public spaces. For example, we join the forest park aquatic center rather than the OP pools due to how crowded they always are, we grocery shop in riverside or melrose park as I don’t like the bag tax, we go to stores in RF and surrounding areas because the parking is easier. I find myself asking “why do I live here?” More often than I’d like.

Submitted by Alan Peres on

Property taxes have risen far faster than my family income. They take a larger percent of after tax income so push out other spending.

Submitted by C Connor on

Our taxes have doubled since moving here in 2008 which has outpaced our income. Will need to get another job or move out of Oak Park.

Submitted by Kitty Conklin a... on

We are moving out of Oak Park and will be selling our 2 flat along with our primary home. I have studied the tax situation for the last year and do not believe the rate of tax increase will slow, we are throwing in the towel.

In 2005, when we moved into Oak Park, we expected to die here. We are choosing to get out while we can.

Submitted by Kitty Conklin a... on

We are moving out of Oak Park and will be selling our 2 flat along with our primary home. I have studied the tax situation for the last year and do not believe the rate of tax increase will slow, we are throwing in the towel.

In 2005, when we moved into Oak Park, we expected to die here. We are choosing to get out while we can.

Submitted by Liz Robinson on

We have seen many of our friends leave Oak Park for other nearby burbs because they do not want or can’t afford the property taxes. It is sad to see them leave when they love the village so.

Our kids who have children love Oak Park, but while they can afford a house they cannot afford the taxes. They have done the math. It is a wash to send their kids to private schools or pay Oak Park taxes. They don’t want to get bogged down with an OP house after their kids are out of school.

Submitted by Jack Davidson on

Not even fount to notify the public until I found this posted days ago? With all the FB groups OP has? Even the trustees hadn’t posted it until I surfaced this page. Rubbish in, rubbish out.

Submitted by Anonymous on

We’re getting way more for our money than what we’re paying in. We moved to Oak Park for the schools and the services.

Submitted by Anonymous on

A combination of:

-Cut back on my children's college savings plan contributions
-Cut back on charitable contributions (consider the latest referendum charity)
-Shop in DuPage more frequently (probably impacts other towns more so than OP)

Submitted by TG on

I have had to reduce the amount I put into my 401K

Submitted by Dori Bernstein on

The increasing property taxes make it difficult for me to make future plans. The taxes seem to be increasing much faster than my income. I have to decide if it makes sense to stay here. I am afraid my property values will drop because of the high taxes.

Submitted by Dori Bernstein on

The increasing property taxes make it difficult for me to make future plans. The taxes seem to be increasing much faster than my income. I have to decide if it makes sense to stay here. I am afraid my property values will drop because of the high taxes.

Submitted by Christina on

I’m so sad to say this because I love it here, but I think we have to move because of the increased property taxes. The amount I put away each month for taxes has now exceeded my monthly mortgage bill. We pay 4% of our home’s value in taxes each year, and that’s astronomical compared to many other places in the country, but it’s high compared to even Chicago and other Cook County municipalities. So we might move back into the city.

Submitted by Anonymous on

We knew property taxes were high when we moved to Oak Park four years ago from Chicago, but were attracted by the location and diversity of the village. But with no children and the two school districts constant desire for additional referendum increases and seemingly disregard for the effects on property values, coupled with a minority of parents who think we should provide private school-level amenities and endless administrative support, we are seriously reconsidering our choice of Oak Park. The village character will be the loser when it becomes just a temporary stop on demanding families life plans to use expensive schools and then bail out. Certainly no people like ourselves who could agree to support good schools with taxes while adding no children to the system will be available to spread costs. Start thinking about the long term effects and what you hope Oak Park to be.

Submitted by Ingo Schaefer on

After 46 years in Oak Park my wife and I are being forced out buy the high property taxes. So sad to go. Taxes jumped $3000 income jumped $0

Submitted by Ingo Schaefer on

After 46 years in Oak Park my wife and I are being forced out buy the high property taxes. So sad to go. Taxes jumped $3000 income jumped $0

Submitted by Ingo Schaefer on

After 46 years in Oak Park my wife and I are being forced out buy the high property taxes. So sad to go. Taxes jumped $3000 income jumped $0

Submitted by Alan Reed on

We have remained in a smaller home than we can afford in an attempt to stay in this community and to manage costs overall, but especially taxes which are now higher than our mortgage! Heck, we probably would have had more children if the costs of living in this Village weren’t increasing so quickly. And while we love oak park, we are already planning to move as soon as our children finish high school here. Staying here requires too great a sacrifice long term in large part because of ever increasing taxes — there seems to be no tax increase that won’t be passed here! We have been here since 1993 but our youngest graduates in 2022,which is when we will depart. We have more than “rented the schools”, but the tax grab mentality of the school districts and taxing bodies is unlikely to stop.

Submitted by Julie Chyna on

I appreciate all the services that our tax dollars pay for, especially the schools, libraries, and parks, and I love the qualities that make Oak Park unique. But in the 20 years we’ve lived here, our income has not increased as fast as the property taxes, and were close to maxed out. Paying these huge tax bills is very frustrating when we see big developers getting huge tax breaks and other financial incentives, and Lake Street getting yet another remodel.

Submitted by Becky on

While we’ve appreciated being able to raise our children in Oak Park, they are now both adults with families and both have great jobs, neither of them can afford to live in Oak Park. Both cite the exorbitant property taxes as being prohibitive. Both have desired to raise their families in this community. It saddens me as a grandmother but also as a senior citizen. I realize property taxes will now prohibit me from remaining in Oak Park and that even rent prices will prohibit me from remaining in Oak Park. Whatever solution there is to lower property taxes will likely not happen in a time frame that would help us remain in Oak Park. It seems to me that all age groups living in the same community help contribute to the life and vitality of the community. Example: the day the OPRF high school students silently marched to promote gun reform, community members showed up to support them, as I looked around the supporters were mainly senior citizens and young mothers. Should property taxes not be corralled to be more feasible there won’t be senior citizens or young mothers living in this community, everyone will be working just to be able to live here.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Our property taxes have risen astronomically in the seven years we’ve lived in Oak Park. Although this was supposed to be our forever home, we now have regular conversations about moving elsewhere in the short term and have agreed that as soon as our youngest is in college, we will be moving out of Oak Park. The rate of increase is unsustainable.

Submitted by Jennifer W on

My husband I moved to Oak Park 14 years ago for the great schools, the proximity to the city, the stores and restaurants (small businesses and chains) throughout the Village, the beautiful streets, the people, the diversity and integration, the Farmers Market, and the list goes on and on. We have never regretted the decision. Are taxes high? Sure, and where efficiencies can be found to reduce costs, that would be great. But nice things have a cost. My local taxes give me so much, and I love this town. So to answer the question, my taxes have mostly impacted me and my family by helping create a community I am happy and proud to call home.

Submitted by Lisa Mulligan on

My taxes have gone from $9,600 to over $32,000. It doesn’t even matter what time frame this represents, it’s out of control. I am a fiscally responsible resident, have always lived within my means which sometimes means making tough choices. I have improved my property and improved my community. Now, you are essentially telling me that I need to leave my home and community. Who can sustain these taxes? How can residents who want to remain in Oak Park during their senior years ( generally on a fixed income) do this? I am sickened that I will have to make a choice to sell my home because I can NO LONGER afford my current taxes let alone what you will do to my taxes going forward. And I have appealed my taxes annually. How can you live with this - knowingly pushing a whole segment of our community out because of taxes alone. Look at the number of homes on the market right now. If you contacted these residents I bet you would find out that a large number of sellers are leaving because of taxes. In my neighborhood, this is the single most talked about topic, with generally everyone in disbelief and disgust. To make it worse, for residents selling their homes current property tax levels directly impact their sales price. Taxing at the level that Oak Park is taxing at lowers property values. When does ithis out of control taxing situation get addressed? Probably not before many valued residents are forced out of the community. Then you can look around and ask the question “where is our diversity”? I guarantee you, it won’t exist.

Submitted by Anonymous on

My taxes have grown from $4,700 to $13,500 in 15 years-in what area of life does that not have an impact? We certainly buy fewergiid and services. It has definitely changed my residency plans. I had planned to stay on while my kids were in college, while now I count the months (72) until matriculation and escape.
The harshest impact is being trapped in a degrading educational system. I have a child that is bored and bullied in D07, and can no longer afford a private alternative. The distinct cannot meet her needs, and has made it impossible for anyone else too-no vouchers, no money left on our pockets, nice business model if you can get it.
If the ‘Imagine there’s no budget’ continues, I can honestly say I will pull my children from the home they were born on (and which we love) and they will complete their education at New Trier, York or Buffalo Grove. Oak Park does not have a competitive product when it comes to infrastructure, education, businesses, or community any longer. Not at these prices. I would never recommend it to young families. Expensive, intolerant, and mismanaged. The impact of those factors on resale value is also significant.

Submitted by Scott Caudell on

The Property tax in Oak Park is a major consideration of whether we stay in Oak Park or move elsewhere, I anticipate it’ll be a major factor in the sale of our property also. Some substantive efficiencies need to be found.

Submitted by stephen kelly on

we are a childless household. we moved to oak park 14 years ago and did not mind paying a little extra in taxes to be part of this town. in the last 8 years our property taxes have nearly doubled and oak park is no longer making much sense for us. we will most likely leave out park in the next 2 yeas, and the decision will be 100% based on the property taxes. the people who buy our home will most likely have children, as it no longer makes any sense to move to oak park unless you have children.

it is a shame - we really liked it here, but D97's money grab put us over the top.

Submitted by Aaron Popick on

My property taxes have increased every year over the last three since i've moved to OP. On top of that special referendum for school bonds are an increasing burden. My house is actually appraising for less than what it was purchased for in 2015, so it's even harder to justify the increases! I am new to IL and find the assessment debacle here to be maddening and down right criminally unethical. No citizen should have to hire an attorney to fight the people voted in by the public to protect them!

The spiral is at its peek, my empty nesters are moving away taking their expendable, local tax revenue with them creating a greater taxing issue!

My wife and i love this neighborhood and have a about 13 yeras till retirement. We will leave like the resr of them if they can't get a handle handle this and pass something like CA did prop 13. Also, is Mad man Madigan get his progressive income tax increase, its buh bye to IL. Might as well live near a beach if you're going to tax like CA!!!

You know you have an issue when even the most liberal minded neighbors are screaming ENOUGH id ENOUGH!

Submitted by Shari on

We have moved once in Oak Park to a less expensive house (that needed a lot of repairs) so we could afford the taxes. Now this $500k house has taxes at a whopping $21k per year - more than our mortgage. It badly needs a paint job and repairs which we can't afford. When our son graduates high school in 2 years, we will have to sell this house too and likely move out of Oak Park, which we love. Otherwise, we won't be able to save for retirement and we are already over 50.

Submitted by Jennifer Alten on

Hi Taxing Body Efficiency Task Force,
Thanks for asking my opinion. My taxes on my not-very-great house are currently about $20k per year - more than double when we purchased our house in 2006. When my husband I moved to Oak Park in 2006, we anticipated staying in our house until we retired. We envisioned our grown kids coming back and being able to reminisce in their childhood house. That won't happen. With our taxes as high as they are, we are planning on leaving Oak Park when my 4th grader graduates from OPRF. We simply are getting priced out of the community we love. The idea of moving breaks our heart but is a financial necessity if we are to ever retire. Oak Park is going to become a community only of families with kids K-12, who move in for the schools and move out when the kids are out of high school. Not sure if that supports Oak Park's vision of diversity.

Submitted by Sam Dyer on

Property Taxes have reached a point where I will most likely move my family to another community.

Submitted by Jassen Strokosch on

How have property tax levels in Oak Park impacted me? They have allowed my children to attend great schools that are preparing them well to be lifetime learners. The public parks and libraries I have access to are wonderful. On the occasions when I have needed their services, the fire department and police have been outstanding. I feel safe in the Village. My street is plowed and cleared pretty quickly when it snows. The streets are clean. I find that my taxes, while difficult to afford, have gone to provide services that have a wonderful impact on my life.

Submitted by lisa on

For quite a while, our property taxes impacted the level of maintenance we were able to do on our 100+ year old home. We would have loved to make improvements such as adding central air, but the taxes were eating into our ability to save for large scale projects. As time went on, we have seen the high taxes erode our neighborhood. Neighbors leave when their children leave for college. The long-standing sense of community and block relationships that drew us to Oak Park are slowly starting to fade. We need to really consider the impact on our schools if every house has school-aged children. Will we be able to afford this? Seniors and adults with no children offer a lot to our community.

Submitted by Anonymous on

We bought our first home (ever) last fall in Oak Park after renting here for several years. The high taxes definitely pushed our budget down, and made offers more conservative. Plus, we started not even considering homes with finished attics since that adds to your square footage which then bumps the taxes up by a huge amount.

Submitted by Marianne McCluskey on

Oak Park has been our home for 15 years. In that time our property taxes have doubled. With no children of our own to use the schools, we can no longer afford that tax bill. We are sadly planning to move to a lower cost area. I fear too many others will do the same, depleting the Village of truly great residents and citizens.

Submitted by Jean Magee on

I appeal my taxes at every available opportunity- but they are getting ridiculously high. I know she many of my neighbors who are leaving OP because of the high taxes - and I could be one of them soon. It’s not sustainable

Submitted by Cynthia on

We bought a large 1892 Victorian in the historic district of central Oak Park in 2000. It was nearly falling down and needed extensive renovation. At the time if you put a certain percentage of the purchase price into renovations, you got a tax freeze for 8 years. We spent a lot of time and money, completely renovated the house interior, exterior and grounds, and in the process also made it infinitely more attractive for the neighborhood and for the Hemingway house next door, one of the village's prominent tourist destinations. When the tax freeze was over, the property taxes TRIPLED within a few years and made it impossible for us to continue living in the village when we retired. We put the house on the market in 2015 and it took well over a year to sell, and for a ridiculously low price, because nobody wanted to pay those taxes. We now live in Forest Park. We saved a historic building in Oak Park and were driven out by high taxes and lost a large chunk of our investment (aka retirement funds) for our trouble. We loved Oak Park, but would never live there again.

Submitted by Karen Rafter on

We put our house in Oak Park on the market in November. Likely buyers who see the house comment to our realtor that the home is beautiful and well kept, but the taxes would be exorbitant on top of expected mortgage payments. I know we are not the only family in our circumstances, as many of our friends are having the same problems as they retire and wish to downsize.

Submitted by Steve Bankes on

Since moving to Oak Park, our property taxes have increased 300% and I have no reason to believe the future will differ greatly from the past.

We once considered Oak Park our Forever Home. Now we consider Oak Park our current home.

Something must be done.

Submitted by Frederick Fremont on

Oak park taxes have entirely drained our life savings, and will necessitate our selling our modest family home, where we have raised our children, and lived for the last 41 years. I never thought it would be possible that we would have to pay $40 a day in taxes for the privilege of staying in the house we own!!! We have paid lawyers 3 times to contest, yet they go up and up! How can this destructive and exorbitant tax rate be justified?

Submitted by Holly spurlock on

Property taxes allow for me to send my kids to great public schools, live in a neighborhood that is diverse and supports progressive ideals, provides ample activities for me and my family with young children as well as ample activities for me and my husband and also my senior citizen mother-in-law. I have access to a tremendous library and park district that provide programming, including many free activities. In the summer, I literally could occupy my kids for free every Thursday and Sunday and many Saturday’s through the downtown oak park concerts, scoville park concerts and movies in the park. I don’t have to leave oak park for errands, food, entertainment, or clothing if I do t want to because our taxes have made the village an attractive place for business and community. My kids are able to be in classrooms that are inclusive, curriculum that is preparing them for jobs we don’t even know exist and participate in arts and music. The taxes have created an opportunity for us to participate in league sports as well as pick up games. We also feel safe - 3 fires happened on our block in the last 3 years and our fire department was quick to respond and literally saved lives. My kids can play outside, walk to their schools and local parks and develop independence without us watching every move because of the safety and sense of community that is fostered by the strong public schools and parks.

Submitted by Single Family H... on

I've only lived in Oak Park for a few years, but I'm increasingly worried about the impact that rising property taxes could have on my home's value, and my ability to sell it when I'm ready. Combine OP's rising property taxes, rising State income tax, sales tax, permit fees, rising refuse/water fees, rising cost of car and homeowners insurance, etc. and the situation has become daunting and a little bleak. For now I continue to advocate constructively for moderate property tax growth, development of new tax revenue sources, and responsible spending. Hopefully things will improve or at least stabilize.

Sociologically, I think the rising property taxes has had an unintended and spiraling consequence in OP - people are largely moving here when their kids are school-age and leaving immediately after. Rising property taxes (or rent) are mostly "acceptable" to households with children in the school system, which only leads to higher taxes as class sizes grow. We need to find a way to brake out of this cycle if property taxes will ever go down (without compromising the quality of a D97/D200 education). Property taxes can be equated to insurance premiums - we need to maintain a certain percent of child-less households to pay for those who have kids in school to keep "premiums" (aka property taxes) down. We need to find ways to offer more value to residents without kids in OP schools and encourage that cohort of residents to stay/move-in.

Socioeconomically, it's hard to predict exactly where we'll be as a community in about 20 years (on the spectrum of financial despair to exclusive prosperity), but rising and unchecked property taxes is likely to continue changing the demographics of our community.

Submitted by Chris Rockey on

our residential taxes have more than tripled in the 15 years since we purchased our home. They were not low when we bought it, and are certainly not low now. This impacts us greatly by not allowing us to save sufficient funds for our children's education, nor our retirement. Unfortunately we will sell our house immediately after our children graduate from OPRF, if not before due to the unrealistic burden the Village has placed on us. We have had to forego maintenance on our residence which further diminishes the value in combination with the high taxes.

Submitted by Henry Fulkerson on

Property taxes ensure my two grandchildren have excellent educational experiences. The well maintained parks with newly paved tennis courts a block from my house allow me to enjoy my favorite sport. Great libraries with plenty of community rooms promotes a well informed citizenry which strengthens our democracy. My only complaint is that developers have been allowed to profit from Oak Park's myriad of amenities without contributing to affordable housing set aside to maintain our community's commitment to racial and economic diversity.