The 1889 Victorian Mansion: 629 W. Fullerton in Lincoln Park

When you think of Lincoln Park, most people have visions of tree lined streets and houses like this Victorian mansion at 629 W. Fullerton.

629-w-fullerton-approved.jpg

With 7000 square feet and 5 bedrooms, it exudes vintage style on the outside while having modern amenities on the inside.

All five bedrooms are upstairs. Additionally it has a penthouse great room with its own separate kitchen.

The listing says the house has a new DeGiulio kitchen which is open to the family room.

There is a yard, plus two car garage and a rooftop garage deck all on a 25×134 lot.

Yes, there’s central air and also 4 fireplaces to keep you warm in the winter.

Emily Sachs Wong at Koenig & Strey has the listing. See the pictures here.

629 W. Fullerton: 5 bedrooms, 4 full baths, 2 half baths, 7000 square feet, 2 car garage

  • Sold in June 1988 for $195,000
  • Sold in August 1994 for $875,000
  • Sold in June 2000 for $1.616 million
  • Originally listed in August 2007 for $2.695 million
  • Reduced several times
  • Was listed in June 2009 for $1.995 million
  • Currently still listed at $1.995 million
  • Taxes of $12217
  • Central Air

162 Responses to “The 1889 Victorian Mansion: 629 W. Fullerton in Lincoln Park”

  1. Tip: When you’re trying to sell your house for $2 million dollars, dont count the rooms in the basement as “bedrooms”.

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  2. I don’t have a problem with bedrooms in the basement in this case. The ceilings don’t look low. And they have separate zoned heating systems. So it may be totally ok.

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  3. Can someone loan me $2mm? Thanks:)
    -oh and an extra grand for a new front door…

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  4. I love the bay window looking out into a brick wall. Very Chicago.

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  5. Wanna guess which house would be on the Top 5 when the Groove wins the mega ball this friday?

    yep you guessed it!!! it will be 629 w fullerton :)

    oops i forgot….in cribhater fashion this place sux cause its on a main street.

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  6. The mls now has a separate field for basement bedrooms. This could help unless it turns out like the parking fields.

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  7. Groove, win mega ball and step down to a 25-footer? Not a chance.

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  8. I’ve walked past this place about a million times and always thought it looked really cool on the outside. This, to me, is just about perfect. Now I just need to make about 8x what I do now…

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  9. “and step down to a 25-footer?”

    but it does have a yard :) and in LP thats a rarity.

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  10. “and step down to a 25-footer?”

    but it does have a yard :) and in LP thats a rarity. I will miss that extra outdoor space but replace that emptiness with MORE CLOSET SPACE!!!

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  11. There are many things to like about this place. It was tastefully updated over the years. Odd mini fireplace That could be made to look more grand and the bay window looking at brick makes me believe that there once was a beautiful empty lot with sun and landscaping many years ago. That would have been really special on this block.

    The thing that drives me nuts is that this street takes 2 hours out of my life everytime that I forget and turn and head west down that block stretch from Clark to Halsted. I would hate to have to deal wtth that every single day of my life. I’m not a suburban wanna be but that stretch sux!

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  12. NO WAY that taxes in Lincoln Park are $12000 on a 2 million home–they will zoom to $40000 at sale!

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  13. Three words: 638 West Oakdale.

    Curb appeal aside, I’m having trouble finding much authentic vintage character in the photos. The renovation looks more like a compromise between a spouse who loved vintage and a spouse who preferred the ‘burbs. For $2 million, on a busy street, I would pass. There are lovely and immaculately preserved townhomes just off this stretch of Fullerton that would be a better value.

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  14. So-can we all agree that this is what a million dollar house should look like?

    Oh, wait it’s two million….

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  15. jp3chicago,

    But doesnt the alley feed into kemper here? then shoot a side street to webster and you miss traffic?

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  16. Groover:

    or what about this place?

    http://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/2043-N-Sedgwick-St-60614/home/13347464

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  17. chichow, that place on Sedgwick certainly has character. But if I wanted to pay $550 per square foot I would move to the Bay Area and have something to do on the weekends.

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  18. Taxes at this place are very reasonable… almost too reasonable. I wonder if something is up with that (historic exemption or something?) or if there will be a nasty increase sometime in the next few years… I’m looking a places in LP that are a little less than half the size and cost of this place (2,500-3,000 sf; 700-900k)and some have the same taxes as this place. I don’t get it.

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  19. Chichow,

    I passed buy the sedwick place many times about a year ago. From the pictures its beautiful inside but in real life the outside needs some serious tuckpointing from what i remember.

    it is in the top ten lotto winner places for the grooves though :)

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  20. That Sedgwick place has been on the market for almost a year. I wonder if there’s a reason for that other than the price.

    Any comps on this one in the area? My guess would be $1.8-1.9M, but maybe the market has come down more in that area as of late.

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  21. Just think, YOU TOO could spend 2 million bucks to live next to a bunch of $1k a month college student rental apartments.

    just a big huge no, and the pictures with the kids crap everywhere? bad.

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  22. I toured this house in the 90’s and I feel that the interior has lost all the original character. Re-doing “grand” older homes requires sensitivity (as well as practicality for the family) and this house to me has lost its greatness. 638 West Oakdale (though not as grand or imposing) has maintained vintage and authenticity as a better example of a re-do/ re-fit.

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  23. By the way, although I’m the one that brought it up, my understanding is that many of the vintage-seeming details in 638 W. Oakdale were installed by the current owners. Of course, they employed an antique dealer’s attention to detail as they did it… But the original home was probably much simpler, and certainly less well maintained when they moved in.

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  24. needs furniture and staging a big way to sell this place…..

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  25. danny (lower case D) on February 17th, 2010 at 10:03 am

    I love this block of Fullerton. The bus doesn’t come this far east, and it doesn’t even feel like a main street.

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  26. As to 638 West Oakdale: the fact that details may be new but “look original” and fit the character of the home is the true art behind home re-design. Example: a conservatory as a way to get brightness into a typical Chicago row house rather than sky lights, vintage hardware and re-styled appropriate windows, etc are costly but make a home more unique and maintain a period feeling.

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  27. Ed,

    Do you think if they didnt open up the kitchen and didnt do the white moulding and went with stained wood (stained and around the windows too), it would have given a better vintage meets modern feel?

    I know if i bought it the first thing i would do is close off the kitchen to the dining room. (i hate open floor plan)

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  28. Kitchens are a bit personal but given the size of the space, the kitchen design to me is under-utilized and certainly some degree of separation between kitchen and breakfast/sitting area I think is more appropriate and hides the mess for those who truly cook. As to the white painted moldings, many Victorian houses had painted woodwork (especially as oak was usually the “lesser quality” hardwood) except in fancy Eastlake Style, Arts and Craft or later Prairie Style homes. To paint or not paint today is a matter of personal taste and the quality of the reamining woodwork. Given the exterior style of this home with some Eastlake-ish features some of the wood would have been unpainted but too much wood can look overly heavy/dark.

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  29. And yes, dining rooms were always separate

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  30. a friend of mine grew up in the oakdale place, he rang the doorbell last year and the guys that own it and spiffed it up gave him a tour. he was obviously floored as it was not the dark dingy house he grew up in. and i went to a party there a couple years ago…that place is crazy now, so fancy schmancy. too much so for my taste but those guys did a helluva job. course it’s not in honest abe’s school district like this one

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  31. Is 638 West Oakdale even for sale? or just taken off the market.

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  32. “Tip: When you’re trying to sell your house for $2 million dollars, dont count the rooms in the basement as “bedrooms”.”

    Huh? Listing sez 5 beds; and sez 5 beds upstairs. Don’t see where they are counting basement rooms as bedrooms.

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  33. Ed,
    “some of the wood would have been unpainted but too much wood can look overly heavy/dark”

    the dark intricate wood work, (Bannisters, built-ins, baseboards, window frames) is what i correlate to vintage interiors. but i am neither a interior designer nor an restorer just a average joe.

    I agree with you on use of space here, there was no need to open the kitchen up with all the space they have. But i strongly believe in the eat-in-kitchen or breakfast are or in formal dining (what ever they call it now).

    “and breakfast/sitting area I think is more appropriate and hides the mess for those who truly cook”

    hides the mess, smells, and noises from party guests plus it gives me a reason not to clean up until people leave so i have more time enjoying the company of my invitee’s :)

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  34. “Is 638 West Oakdale even for sale? or just taken off the market.”

    Redfin sez delisted in November.

    Check out 634 W SURF Ave to find a $2m listing to *really* hate on. Although I love that the narrative starts “This East Lakeview gem is most unusual!”

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  35. Anyone know the origins to the whole open kitchen to family room fad?

    my philosophy is that suburban house wife created this so they could cook and keep an eye on the little ones.

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  36. “Taxes at this place are very reasonable… almost too reasonable. I wonder if something is up with that (historic exemption or something?) or if there will be a nasty increase sometime in the next few years… I’m looking a places in LP that are a little less than half the size and cost of this place (2,500-3,000 sf; 700-900k)and some have the same taxes as this place. I don’t get it.”

    knm477,

    The 2008/pay2009 assmt was 87,013 and that is what the $12,000 in taxes were based on. The new 2009/pay2010 assmt is 146,871 which will lead to a much higher tax bill. The new assmt represents a $1,468,710 MV so an appeal is not likely and tax bills this year should approach $20K. Since the first bill due in 3/2/10 is based on last year’s assmt there is only $6,719.39 due now and the second bill this year will be a shocker if nobody’s paying attention.

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  37. G,

    Thanks for that. I figured there was a catch. I hope whoever buys this place is paying attention!

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  38. I’m rather new to Chicago, so the pricing and styling of properties really baffles me. I walk by this tear down on a double-ish lot that sold for 700K earlier this year. They just put the sign up for the new $2.2 mil monstrosity that is going in its place. I would much prefer one of the LP properties with character than this thing on a random street in LV (near Burley, but still for the price of the house the owner can afford private school.)

    If I had a double lot, I would put a smaller house in the middle, so I could have space between my house and the neighbor’s. I would have a backyard with grass, not a 3-4 car garage. I wouldn’t have torn down the gigantic tree on the edge of the lot. I just don’t get it.

    http://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/1722-W-Barry-Ave-60657/home/13359591

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  39. “Open” kitchens are a 1950s creation, born of the architectural philosophy prevalent at the time. Like so many architectural fads of the past 100 years, the main idea was to trick the buyer into thinking he was getting “more” while ruthlessly cost-cutting. Yes, it was also created so Mom could spend most of her time in the kitchen and not be isolated from the rest of the household.

    It is probably more appropriate for the way people live now, even though I don’t care for it. If there’s anything I don’t want to look at while I eat, it’s a kitchen I just made a royal mess of while preparing dinner.

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  40. “If there’s anything I don’t want to look at while I eat, it’s a kitchen I just made a royal mess of while preparing dinner.”

    You know, my wife and I really think we want an open kitchen, but we do have friends that hate it especially for entertaining. Kinda nice that people can gather there, but kinda pain when you want to focus on getting the food prepared and the mess issue.

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  41. knm477, there is a window of opportunity that a seller can take advantage of due to paying taxes in arrears.

    We are currently in that period every 3 years in Chicago where the tax bill due now will not reflect any of the coming 2009 assessment increase. The increase will show up on the 2nd half bill in October.

    Anyone signing a contract today should be aware of this situation. The only ways to protect yourself are by either estimating the tax pro-ration based on the proposed 2009 assmt (which will likely still come up short due to rate increases) or have the seller agree to an escrow deposit in order that the tax pro-ration can be finalized when it is known in the fall. The latter is not likely to happen so know what your exposure is going in and include it in price negotiations.

    Caveat emptor is the rule on this issue. If you accept a tax pro-ration for a Chicago property as “full and final” at closing (prior to October) you could come up a big loser without doing your due diligence.

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  42. “If I had a double lot, I would put a smaller house in the middle, so I could have space between my house and the neighbor’s.”

    1. then you couldn’t ever sell the second lot to unlock (maybe) $500k.
    2. I think zoning and building depts frown on the practice, so you’re inviting headaches.

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  43. “It is probably more appropriate for the way people live now, even though I don’t care for it”

    True i have friend “who live that way” its hard to watch. we are kind of old fashioned when it comes to this

    In the groove household, there is no TV in the kitchen, we ususally eat the same time each day, during the week we eat at the dinner table and sunday we eat in the dining room. (saturday is free-for-all day).
    My son naps in his playard in the living room before dinner so having the kitchen seperate helps keep the meal prep noise from waking him.

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  44. “In the groove household, there is no TV in the kitchen, we ususally eat the same time each day, during the week we eat at the dinner table and sunday we eat in the dining room. (saturday is free-for-all day).”

    ah, now we know why Groove “lets” his wife buy mondo-expensive scarves and such.

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  45. G, real estate taxes are a topic I am woefully lacking on. For a potential buyer (I emphasize potential) in the coming months, what is there to look out for? Is there any way whatsoever to “predict” what a property tax change will be? At this point, would it almost be best (bubble issues notwithstanding) to wait until reassessments are done before making a purchasing decision?

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  46. “ah, now we know why Groove “lets” his wife buy mondo-expensive scarves and such.”

    yep 100% true, i only cook sunday dinners and parties, wife cooks monday thru thursday.

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  47. that barn on barry is funny

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  48. The new Chicago and Crook County property taxes are confiscatory, and they will exert a lot of further downward pressure on house prices. Having your bill increase from $10,000 to $15,000, or from $1000 to $4500, really elevates your housing costs. A friend got a $15K bill for a house that might sell today at $500K. Someone else, a Crook County suburbanite, got an $8500 bill for a house he doesn’t think he could get more than $180K for.

    As one poster pointed out, you won’t see the worst of it on your bill till fall. Beware. If you’re buying now, you should figure taxes will probably be double what they are at the present. And they could double again in another couple of years.

    The property taxes never used to be a big problem for city homeowners, but now they really add to the risk of home ownership.

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  49. When you own property, it’s like you have to contribute your share of the local revenues that were expected from property taxes. So if in 2009 you owed 0.003% of all property taxes, you would have to pay that share next year as well, because the city budgets aren’t exactly going to just decrease. Even if your property value went down, so did everyone else’s to a similar extent, so you will not get the significant decrease in assessments that all owners are hoping for. As there are huge budget shortfalls in city and local governments, the easiest thing to do is put it to property owners via tax increases. Do bills in the fall come out before or after the elections? Certain people in the industry (realtors) are saying that taxes will go down later on which will help out with potential sales, but in reality they will go up because there is less revenue taken in by the city for transfer taxes/stamps, and other revenues are now gone (parking meters).

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  50. “Even if your property value went down, so did everyone else’s to a similar extent, so you will not get the significant decrease in assessments that all owners are hoping for.”

    Dave M- Some property values are down 5% and in other neighborhoods property values are down 35%- so No, it’s not fair. In fact I’m constantly surprised by how many expensive properties we look at here on CC in LV and LP have such low taxes (on a % of market value).

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  51. Tax increases aren’t enough to cover budget short falls, there also needs to be layoffs, service cuts and the reduction if not outright elimination and health care benefits for retirees. Some might say these will never happen, but a day of reckoning is just around the corner.

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  52. I didn’t say it was fair. In Chicago it’s all about who you know and who you have working on your appeal and who they know.

    I’m just saying the expected decline in assessments won’t be much if any on average. Lots of people will have increases even though their property values went down. That’s the way it works.

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  53. ” the reduction if not outright elimination and health care benefits for retirees.”

    Also of COL increases for their pensions. There are many (many, many) state/county/local retirees making *more* retired than they did ever while working and more than if they currently did their former job. An absurd % of the city and county budgets go to pensions and–just like SS–it’s a total ponzi scheme.

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  54. I don’t think pensioners should get COLA’s at all. Especially when inflation is negative. This isn’t welfare.

    In the budget crises we are in, I think it’s time to cut government worker pension benefits.

    For example, a city worker retires at age 55 and makes more money than he was working just from his pension, get his healthcare fully paid for up to 65, and also gets another job. Then when he turns 65, he gets to ride the CTA for free. What a system in place. They should cut the free CTA for those over 65. Why not give them a discount?

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  55. I totally agree anon(tfo), but you know what, it’s a ponzi scheme and the number don’t work anymore.

    For example, the big discussion we’ve been having in my office is that the state of IL is broke. Literally broke. they arent paying their bills. They don’t pay rent. I personally know the gen counsel for a smaller IL administrative agency and this lawyer says that their dept will run out of money in April. They can pay salaries after April but nothing else.

    The crains article says that IL isn’t paying it’s bills, and that one certain days of the year, the state has barely any operating cash available.

    a 50% tax increase won’t even touch the problem.

    “anon (tfo) on February 17th, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    ” the reduction if not outright elimination and health care benefits for retirees.”

    Also of COL increases for their pensions. There are many (many, many) state/county/local retirees making *more* retired than they did ever while working and more than if they currently did their former job. An absurd % of the city and county budgets go to pensions and–just like SS–it’s a total ponzi scheme.”

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  56. it’s a total ponzi scheme–

    eta–except that the vast majority of us paying into the scheme will *never* see any of the benefit.

    Who will be our Ed Rendell*? Who will be our mayor to say to the unions “Enough”? Any chance Richie decides that could be his legacy, since it won’t be the Olympics?

    *realizing that even his was only a qualified success.

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  57. I guess we will be paying 12% sales tax and 6% state income tax, along with a doubling in property taxes, all for government workers to get their COLA and Rolls Royce health care benefits. Awesome system we have here.

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  58. Did parking tickets go up from $60 in 2010? Just curious.

    I noticed there are more of those red-light cameras every week. Those are like ATM’s for local governments…

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  59. “I noticed there are more of those red-light cameras every week. Those are like ATM’s for local governments”

    This is one thing that doesn’t bother me–easy enough to avoid, and if you violate clear traffic laws, it’s a risk you’ve accepted. And it’s better than stupid traffic school in any event.

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  60. CTA and other transit agencies used to charge seniors, the disabled, and children under age 12 half fare.

    Now seniors ride free. This was a concession that Blago extorted from CTA in order to grant them additional operating funds.

    Now that he’s out of office and CTA has had to resort to the doomsday budget anyway, the old senior half-fare should be reinstated.

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  61. The problem with the red light cameras is they purposely shortened the yellow lights from 3 seconds to less than 2 seconds. Genius idea.

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  62. “This is one thing that doesn’t bother me–easy enough to avoid, and if you violate clear traffic laws, it’s a risk you’ve accepted. And it’s better than stupid traffic school in any event.’

    The thing that really bugs me about traffic cameras is that they’re billed COMPLETELY as a safety measure and are never sold as being an income item. And then there are few (if any) studies citing reduced accidents/increased safety at intersections with cameras. Bleh.

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  63. “The problem with the red light cameras is they purposely shortened the yellow lights from 3 seconds to less than 2 seconds.”

    Not at any RLC’d intersection (of several) that I regularly drive thru. But I’m sure it’s happened some places. *That* should be illegal, as it is notsafe.

    “Now that he’s out of office and CTA has had to resort to the doomsday budget anyway, the old senior half-fare should be reinstated.”

    But it’s an election year, Laura! And old people vote! Can’t make old people angry in an election year!

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  64. I wish the city would issue tickets for un-shoveled snow. That and random and unnecessary honking.

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  65. “there are few (if any) studies ”

    Don’t say that word. Mentioning “studies” is a bit of a sore subject right now.

    Anyway, what I’ve seen (limited, as you note), there is actually (generally) an increase in rear-end accidents in the short term (at least), as people adjust to actually stopping for red lights, but some reduction in the much more serious t-bone accidents that come from red-light runners hitting cars w/ R-O-W (which are more rare overall, but frequently result in GBH or death). So, from a life-safety perspective, getting people to obey signals is a positive, but for avoidance of fender-benders a negative, which means you can spin the data to make either point.

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  66. “The thing that really bugs me about traffic cameras is that they’re billed COMPLETELY as a safety measure and are never sold as being an income item. And then there are few (if any) studies citing reduced accidents/increased safety at intersections with cameras. Bleh.”

    yeah well i’d rather pay a little bit up front for a camera apparatus than some fat pig who beats bartenders and sits on his ass doing nothing all day when he’s working… OH and then giving him a nice fat pension so he gets paid when he’s NOT working too!

    And I’m a pretty big supporter of honking tickets ala NYC does.

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  67. “Don’t say that word. Mentioning “studies” is a bit of a sore subject right now.”

    Hahaha, yeah. The most damning thing for the increases safety crowd is that one city (Schaumburg?) has been taking down all it’s cameras because they found nothing that supported that they increased safety, which is pretty damning.

    “yeah well i’d rather pay a little bit up front for a camera apparatus”

    It isn’t the cost or the increased revenue that bother me, it’s the sales pitch used to get them installed. I know it’s a hallmark of our various local governments, but I hate being so blatantly lied to.

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  68. “It isn’t the cost or the increased revenue that bother me, it’s the sales pitch used to get them installed. I know it’s a hallmark of our various local governments, but I hate being so blatantly lied to.”

    Ask a politician “Why…?” and expect a truthful answer? That’s on you, my friend.

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  69. Yeah, I know.

    “This is to protect you, the citizen, and your precious little babies! Don’t you want to be protected? Won’t somebody think of the babies? WHO WILL THINK OF THE BABIES?!?!?!?”

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  70. “This is one thing that doesn’t bother me–easy enough to avoid, and if you violate clear traffic laws, it’s a risk you’ve accepted. And it’s better than stupid traffic school in any event.”

    Yeeeah right. Like the time I got lost in the ghetto and there were hoodlums around my car and I decided it was better to beat the yellow light–ticket. But yes they’re easy to avoid: once you learn their location AND get a protective plate cover like mine which obscures it from most angles.

    The other day I got a ticket for that obscured plate cover. The thing is its been on for 1.5 years now and only costs $50. When the traffic cameras came out I was getting about a ticket a month for $100 each. Excellent ROI on those plate covers.

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  71. Also red light cameras violate due process by assessing a fine not on the offender but on the owner of the vehicle and not allowing the defendant to cross-examine the witness.

    You can say the proof is in the video or pictures but in reality that not always shows the entire context of the incident.

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  72. How about the street cleaning tickets? At my previous apartment, I noticed they came around and ticketed at 9am, but then never cleaned the streets. Amazing system we have here. Straight up ATM for the city to have street cleaning tickets and not clean the streets.

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  73. Bob, there is no right to cross-examine a witness in administrative law. You’ve obviously never been to the kangaroo court up at 400 W Superior. The place exists for no other reason than to extract additional revenue from anyone who ever becomes tangentially involved in with the City of Chicago, and in some cases, people not involved with the city at all.

    Believe me, people have appealed this issue, in fact a case just came down very recently on this topic. The ticket itself is prima facie evidence of an infraction and it is up to the respondent to present proof which satisfies the ‘preponderance of the evidence’ standard that meets one of the 7 or so requirements on the back of the ticket.

    (Hey J-zee how’s that lawyering for ya?)

    “Bob on February 17th, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Also red light cameras violate due process by assessing a fine not on the offender but on the owner of the vehicle and not allowing the defendant to cross-examine the witness.”

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  74. and you’re a better person for never having been there!

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  75. I just got one of those red light tickets. Whopping $100 bucks. I swear the yellow light seemed really short and it was raining and kind of slick, so I didn’t want to slam on the brakes thinking someone might rear end me.

    I have had several parking tickets downtown that were completely made up. Fortunately, I have a camera on my cellphone and I took pictures and managed to beat the tickets.

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  76. And that folks is why I sold my car 5 years ago and have been a lot richer since!

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  77. “Also red light cameras violate due process by assessing a fine not on the offender but on the owner of the vehicle and not allowing the defendant to cross-examine the witness.”

    Keep tilting at windmills my man.

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  78. “G, real estate taxes are a topic I am woefully lacking on. For a potential buyer (I emphasize potential) in the coming months, what is there to look out for? Is there any way whatsoever to “predict” what a property tax change will be?”

    Barry, all of the proposed assmts for the city have been mailed. You can go to the Cook County Assessor’s website property search to find the 2008 and 2009 assessment numbers. You can also get the Prop ID Number (PIN) there searching by address. You can go to the Cook County Treasurer’s website to search for tax bills by PIN.

    The simple formula for tax bills is:

    assmt amt X equalization factor X tax rate = prop taxes

    (homeowner’s exemptions are lump sum so they diminish %-wise as price range goes up. There are also other less common exemptions. You can find out about both at the Treasurer’s or Assessor’s sites.)

    The 2008/pay2009 equal factor is 2.9786
    The 2008/pay2009 tax rate for most of Chicago is 4.816%

    In the past, estimating future tax bills after a reassessment by using the prior year’s equal factor & tax rate and the new assmt amount was fairly accurate. It is still probably the best way to estimate based on what we know today.

    However, I expect both factors to rise due to a tax “shift” that is likely to occur from commercial onto residential. This is most simply explained by the fact “everyone knows” commercial values have plummeted but “extend and pretend” on housing means proportional losses have not been realized. You could say that an unintended consequence for propping up housing will be higher residential tax bills.

    “At this point, would it almost be best (bubble issues notwithstanding) to wait until reassessments are done before making a purchasing decision?”

    No, not since the 2009 assmts have been mailed. There could be variance to the estimate, but, if you aren’t figuring on the possibility of a few hundred a month in unknowns you shouldn’t be buying period.

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  79. Minneapolis put in red light cameras and they stopped using them almost immediately after a court challenge. I think it was because in MN the law about running red lights is not the same type of law as a parking ticket. (A lawyer will understand what I mean by this.) In other words, with a parking ticket, it didn’t matter who was driving the car. With running a red light, it did.

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  80. G,

    I dont have my tax bill with me at work (who does) but my taxes went up and my building value went down by a bunch (my land usually stays the same).
    Do you know the exact % and calculations they use to come up with each hood they value?
    Whats the difference in “First Pass” and “board certified”?

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  81. G,

    Also what was the Eq factor and tax rate for 2008?

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  82. “I dont have my tax bill with me at work (who does) but my taxes went up and my building value went down by a bunch ”

    1st half taxes are 55% of last years taxes. This is the first year it’s 55% instead of 50%. You don’t yet know whether your taxes went up or down and won’t find out definitively until you get your second half bill.

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  83. Going back to the tax issue:

    This whole thing has me very confused and hoping for some insight from folks that are more knowledgeable than myself. Sorry in advance if I screw some of this up.

    As a recent first-time homebuyer (yeah, I know, I am an idiot, knife-catching SOB, but let’s try to move past that…), I was pretty overwhelmed with all of the numbers and jargon being thrown around by the lawyers and realtors during our negotiation. When it got to the issues of taxes, our agent initially asked for 110% of current tax bill to cover any possible increase (I guess). The sellers came back and offered 100%, because they said the assessed value had gone down so the tax bill will go down, too. Sure enough, the 2008 assessment was below the 2007. However, I am now confused as to what is going to happen for the next round of tax bills. Can someone explain to me (in layman’s terms) the changes that are going to hit this year? Also, I am assuming that since we are past closing (Sept), I am basically screwed and will need to come up with the additional taxes on my own. Is that correct? Also, how do I go about challenging the assessment? Finally, how do I ensure the homeowners exemption continues to be in place (the previous owners had it, but I haven’t filed anything)? Thanks.

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  84. G, thanks for taking the time to write out that info. I’m trying to absorb as much as I can about Cook County property taxes which seems to be, at the very least, a total mess.

    As to this:
    “There could be variance to the estimate, but, if you aren’t figuring on the possibility of a few hundred a month in unknowns you shouldn’t be buying period.”

    It’s not really that a few hundred a month in unknowns would bankrupt me (but it’s a sizeable dent for sure), it’s just that I don’t want to pay a few hundred more a month extra for taxes whatsoever. That few hundred a month would also blow any rent vs own calculation straight out of the water, at least in the ~$250k range that I’m gravitating towards.

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  85. “and you’re a better person for never having been there!”

    They’ve tried to get me to appear for things not related to my car. I didn’t go. Then the fine went up to $500 and they threatened me. I didn’t pay. Then they referred it to a law firm for collection. I still didn’t pay. It never appeared on my credit report.

    If/when it happens again the only thing I will do differently is to dispute the debt once it is sent to collections. Most collection firms will back down on disputed debts and not report them to credit bureaus (even though mine in the past was never reported it could’ve been).

    If there’s no warrant for my arrest nor impact on my car or driving privileges there’s no need to pay. :D

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  86. Following up my question above:

    I dug around on the CC Assessors website and found that my estimated market value nearly tripled from 2008 to 2009. I realize that the sale of the house (probably) has an influence on this change, but I am confused because the house was sold in 2007 for essentially the same amount. Yet, now there is the 2.5x value increase? Does this have something to do with the 3 year cycle of the assessments? Because previous sale (2007) and our purchase (2009) were in “one cycle” for the assessor, the increase in market value didn’t hit till this year. Does that sound plausible?

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  87. If there was a Cook County Property Taxes for Dummies book I’d buy it.

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  88. “Does that sound plausible?”

    That’s one part. The other is the shift/correction/whatever in the calculation of assessed values from 16% to 10%–so even if there was no change at all in your assessed value (say $50,000), your “market value” would have gone from $312,500 to $500,000.

    Why this two-step from “market value” to “taxable value” exists, I don’t know (haven’t ever looked into it–I assume it served some purpose sometime, which isn’t necessarily a good assumption with legislation, esp. in Illinois). They’d achieve the same result (using last years EQ factor, but this year’s market values) by applying the mill (tax) rate to 29.786% of market value.

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  89. “1st half taxes are 55% of last years taxes. This is the first year it’s 55% instead of 50%. You don’t yet know whether your taxes went up or down and won’t find out definitively until you get your second half bill.”

    I could be that, i really need to look into it, all i know is the my escro was light. and my first installment was up. Gosh i am drawing blank but maybe my 2008 went up and never looked hard into it when the assessment came back then.
    time to do some file digging tonight!

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  90. “If there was a Cook County Property Taxes for Dummies book I’d buy it.”

    Just make out your check to “Friends of Joe Berrios”, and I’m sure that the comissioner (and soon to be assessor) will provide a private tutorial.

    (i keed, i keed)

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  91. Barry, I didn’t mean that as a shot at you nor to be due only to taxes. Your risk in the $250K range for taxes with the proposed 2009 assmt in hand is much less than hundreds a month, or even one hundred for that matter. It’s not just taxes that can surprise you. Be comfortable with a cushion of about 10% over your projected costs and consider any $s not spent as savings toward future repairs/replacements.

    “I dont have my tax bill with me at work (who does) but my taxes went up and my building value went down by a bunch (my land usually stays the same).
    Do you know the exact % and calculations they use to come up with each hood they value?
    Whats the difference in “First Pass” and “board certified”?”

    Groove, I think you are confusing your 2009/pay2010 reassessment notice which you rec’d a couple of months ago with your first half 2009/pay2010 tax bill which reflects 55% of your 2008/pay2009 taxes billed. It has nothing to do with the 2009 assmt notice which will set your assessed value for the 2009, 2010 & 2011 tax years. (The City of Chicago is reassessed every 3 years.) The second bill in 2010 will reflect the taxes due from your 2009 reassessment less what was paid on the current bill.

    “First Pass” means it is the assessor’s proposed valuation. “Board Certified” means the assmt was certified by the Board of Tax Review. It is the “Board Certified” values that are added up in order for the levy to be divided into the total in order to determine the tax rate. Oops, for Cook County that calcucation is done after the state reviews the Board’s values and determines the equalization factor that applies.

    I posted the 2008/pay2009 equal factor of 2.9786 and tax rate for nearly all of Chicago of 4.816%. The 2009/pay2010 factor and rate will be calculated after the Board certifies the values at the end of the appeal process (usually in the summer.) This will likely be withheld along with tax bills until after the election.

    JCB, you are in exactly the position I warned about. It sounds like you will be on the hook for the full amount of the 2009/pay2010 increase when the second half bill arrives later this year. Look up your PIN on the assessor’s site and see what the assmt increase is. Hopefully, it didn’t go up much so it won’t cost you too much. You can contact the assessor’s office to insure your homestead exemption is in place, see their website.

    Also, JCB, I saw your new post before posting the above. It appears you are in exactly the position I was warning about. The better parts of town were way underassessed in the past and it appears the assessor has now decided to right that wrong in many cases. I’ve been warning friends for years about this. As long as the assessor’s market value is less than you paid (the assessed value is 10% of MV,) you won’t have an appeal. In that case you could try a uniformity argument, but unless your neighbors’ homes are just like yours and obviously assessed lower, they will toss you a few coins, at best, for a lot of work and frustration.

    Anon, that exists so they can tax different property classes at different levels while still applying only one tax rate to all. Residential (6 units or less) and vacant land are at 10% of MV, rentals over 6 units at 16%, commercial and industrial at 25%. All other counties in IL tax every property at 33.33% of MV.

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  92. Be very careful reading the new assessments. A friend of mine was excited because he though his assessment went down and he would be saving big on taxes come next fall. WRONG. The politicians are up to their usual tricks. The new accessed values are at 10% of the market value. Previously they were calculated at 16% of the market value. So, when compaing old and new assessments, you can easily get tricked. The politicians would not want that to be obvious before an election….

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  93. I lost the last sentence. The equalization factor is calculated by the state to bring Cook County’s range of assmt levels in line with the rest of the state’s 33.33%.

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  94. OK, more digging on the CC Assessor and Treasurers site leads only to more questions. Seems like they keep all the information separated just to make it more difficult to make sense of it all…

    It looks like the first bill I received this year was for 55% of my 2008 assessed value. I am confused. Shouldn’t my first bill this year (due 3/10) reflect the 2009 valuation (ie the higher number)? Appears to be based on the 2008 (lower) valuation. Does that mean I am going to be hit in the second billing with the remaining 45% from my 2008 valuation PLUS any increase in valuation from 2008->2009?

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  95. JCB, yes it is based on the 2008/pay2009 actual taxes and has nothing to do with the 2009/pay2010 reassessment amount. The second bill will be for the 45% plus any increase. You understand it well.

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  96. “Dave M on February 17th, 2010 at 12:43 pm
    I don’t think pensioners should get COLA’s at all. Especially when inflation is negative. This isn’t welfare.

    In the budget crises we are in, I think it’s time to cut government worker pension benefits.

    For example, a city worker retires at age 55 and makes more money than he was working just from his pension, get his healthcare fully paid for up to 65, and also gets another job. Then when he turns 65, he gets to ride the CTA for free. What a system in place. They should cut the free CTA for those over 65. Why not give them a discount?”

    Just out of curiosity, what concrete examples do you have of City of Chicago workers getting that sweet of deals? The Chicago Police get 50% +2.5% x years worked over 20, for a maximum of 75% of the highest 4 years of salary in the last 10 years they worked. There’s no cost of living adjustment, and there was no health care after retirement for a long time. The Fire Department is pretty similar, and it’s my understanding that Police and Fire pensions are quite a bit better than most City departments. Right now there’s a proposed retire at 55 with free health care til 63 agreement to get rid of some cops at the top end of the wage scale, but fewer than planned are taking it. No cost of living adjustment, so it’s in their favor to wait for a new contract, which are generally retroactive.

    Oh, and the City doesn’t contribute anywhere near what they’re supposed to for the pension fund, but there’s enough cops in horrible health who work until they can’t, then die 3yrs later to keep the pension fund healthy.

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  97. G and anon,

    Thank you so much :)

    I do have another question, Why did the Home owners exemption drop by half from 2007 to 2008? is that a trend going into 2009? and arent they going to cut out the HOE soon too?

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  98. “You understand it well.”

    Wow, thanks, G. I think that is the nicest thing I have seen you post on CC so I am feeling a little better about myself. I guess all I can do is wait for that second bill to hit and then get very, very drunk. Either way, thanks for walking me through this.

    As for the homeowners exemption: I found the 2009 application form on the CC assessors site. Can I submit that now or is it too late? Also, does it matter that I purchased it in Sept (ie not full tax year). Previous owner had 2008 HO exemption, but I don’t think I can see anything for 2009 online yet.

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  99. “Anon, that exists so they can tax different property classes at different levels while still applying only one tax rate to all. Residential (6 units or less) and vacant land are at 10% of MV, rentals over 6 units at 16%, commercial and industrial at 25%.”

    But why the EQ factor complication? There is no evident reason to not role the property class % and the EQ factor together (eq factor is the same for all property). Why not 30%, 48% and 75%? Or no EQ factor and a mill rate that is higher by the factor of the EQ?

    Seems like politicians lying to us again.

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  100. JCB,

    the 2009 forms just came out last week, fill them out so you will see it on the second installment.

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  101. I just searched my pin online. The difference between my 2008 and 2009 market value is insane. If I could get 500K I’d sell it right now. How would my home price go up almost 30% in one year?

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  102. The problem with the pension system is workers can retire so early and there’s a lot of people on the pension rolls for a long time. If you work 30 years and retire at 55 and live to 85, you are on the pension rolls for 30 years, and your health care was paid for for 10 years.

    I don’t think that’s fair in any way. How can taxpayers support such a system? The government can’t afford to do this and should not allow workers to retire so young without a drop in benefits. It’s impossible to continue funding this.

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  103. “I do have another question, Why did the Home owners exemption drop by half from 2007 to 2008? is that a trend going into 2009? and arent they going to cut out the HOE soon too?”

    What you are seeing is the last year of the 7% Extended Homeowner’s Exemption that ended in the city in 2008. The law was not extended by the state legislature after it was seen to favor fast appreciating areas over slow hoods.

    I don’t know anything about the basic HOE going away.

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  104. “I just searched my pin online. The difference between my 2008 and 2009 market value is insane. If I could get 500K I’d sell it right now. How would my home price go up almost 30% in one year?”

    They changed/corrected the market value ratio based on the assessed values–that is in 2008 x/.16; in 2009 x/.10, with x not changing much. Since taxes are calculated off of the smaller number, that changed little, while the MV went up 60%.

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  105. “I just searched my pin online. The difference between my 2008 and 2009 market value is insane. If I could get 500K I’d sell it right now. How would my home price go up almost 30% in one year?”

    See anon’s response. The question is what % did your assessed value rise, not the assessor’s market value.

    CK, get an appraisal and appeal if it is valued so high that tax savings would justify the cost and time involved. Remember, it will be set for 3 years so it isn’t just one year’s tax savings.

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  106. G,

    “I don’t know anything about the basic HOE going away”
    maybe thats what i was thinking the was going away the 2008 7% ext ho.

    Honestly i never really looked at my tax bill that hard cause it is small and part of the monthly mortgage nut. i just recently became concerned cause i was light in escro and monthly mortgage nut jump a bit to correct it. If i get free time tonight i will be going over 8 years of tax bills.

    Anon,

    i think the .16 is off i just looked up my pin and i am seeing a .19162 when calculated.

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  107. “Barry, I didn’t mean that as a shot at you nor to be due only to taxes. Your risk in the $250K range for taxes with the proposed 2009 assmt in hand is much less than hundreds a month, or even one hundred for that matter. It’s not just taxes that can surprise you. Be comfortable with a cushion of about 10% over your projected costs and consider any $s not spent as savings toward future repairs/replacements.”

    Oh of course not, I knew it wasn’t. I was genuinely concerned because Laura said above:

    ” If you’re buying now, you should figure taxes will probably be double what they are at the present. And they could double again in another couple of years.”

    Which, in the parlance of a $250k with taxes around, say, $4k now, really does amount to hundreds of dollars a month. I carefully budget and live within my means as much as possible, but that’s a serious budget buster. It’s good to hear that you believe the changes won’t be that different, though I wonder how Laura came to the opposite conclusion.

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  108. “i think the .16 is off i just looked up my pin and i am seeing a .19162 when calculated.”

    Check your math, dude.

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  109. Its not just the pensions and retiree issues. Awhile back I read about the highest paid city employees: turns out it was a couple 911 dispatchers who managed to earn 200k/year with tons of overtime. You have people working 75hrs/week every week of the year and getting paid for much more via OT.

    There is no budget discipline in government to eliminate the overtime, whereas a business would pretty quickly hire more FT people to cut down on the OT issue.

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  110. “There is no budget discipline in government to eliminate the overtime, whereas a business would pretty quickly hire more FT people to cut down on the OT issue.”

    Other than the effect all that OT has on pension calculations, it’s usually cheaper for govts like Chicago, Cook, Illinois (and everywhere in Cali) to pay OT than hire another person, b/c then you’re adding another mouth to the benefits trough.

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  111. “You have people working 75hrs/week every week of the year and getting paid for much more via OT.”

    Earning 200k would be peachy, but who would want to do this to themselves?

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  112. “Earning 200k would be peachy, but who would want to do this to themselves?”

    Have you seen the degree of effort some city/county/state employees invest in their jobs? There are certainly some “working” 75+/week and accomplishing less than we do here on teh CC.

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  113. “Check your math, dude”

    I am an accountant excel does my math for me :)

    well YOU ARE CORRECT i checked “my math” and i transposed a number :)-

    it came out to .15464 but you see that its not EXACTLY .16 :)

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  114. “i think the .16 is off i just looked up my pin and i am seeing a .19162 when calculated.”

    Once again, most likely what anon said.

    Something else could explain it, too. Is your vacant lot included on the same PIN? If so, in 2008 vacant land was at 22% so there is a chance you have a blended assessment level. That would have been a correctable error since vacant land used with an adjoining residence should have been at the 16% rate. I dealt with this issue myself once.

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  115. Why don’t they just cut the overtime rates to solve the problem? Maybe by working overtime you get paid your normal wage per hour? Are they currently getting double? I’ve heard of holiday pay too – you get 3X or 4X pzy for working holidays in some local governments. Not sure that’s like that in Chicago. I don’t feel good if someone if asleep at the phone as a 911 operator because they worked 80 hours this week. Same for bus drivers – should they really get all that overtime? Is it safe?

    Why don’t we hire a consulting firm (ie. “The Bobs” from Office Space) to go in an rid out all of the waste in city and county government?

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  116. I bet we could save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars just by cutting the overtime wage rates down to normal wage rates. Even if we cut them to 10% premiums, a ton of money would be saved. Why has this never been done? Who is being protected?

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  117. Unions and democrats?

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  118. G,

    “Something else could explain it, too. Is your vacant lot included on the same PIN?”

    Its all one PIN

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  119. Dave, overtime reform was originally intended to protector workers from being worked to death, and is overseen by the DOL under the guise of the FLSA, so it’s a federal thing. If you tried to take away overtime to fix some government workers gaming the system, it’s the proverbial bandaid on a bullet wound, and there would (rightfully, to an extent) be blood in the streets.

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  120. If anything it’s a scheduling issue, and in a down economy, we shouldn’t be paying someone $40 an hour to do a job that normally pays $20. It makes no economic sense. Duh

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  121. “Its all one PIN”

    It was a moot point since anon spoke the truth already. Besides, that wrinkle would not be an issue going forward since 2009 changes have residential and vacant land both at 10% assessment levels.

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  122. “we shouldn’t be paying someone $40 an hour to do a job that normally pays $20.”

    Well, it’s mostly $30/hr, with minimal extra benefit costs vs. $20/hr + $20 (or more)/hour of bennies. And another favor used up.

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  123. I just think there should be reasonable limits on the overtime pay and total hours worked. People shouldn’t be making triple or quadruple pay on holidays. Isn’t there a ludicrous amount of sick time too, and you can roll it over? No wonder why our taxes are having to go up? No restraint.

    A friend of mine from HS works for a different municipal govt agency and he always works holidays so he can make an extra $2,000 to $3,000 plus he gets extra vacation days he can use.

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  124. There is a double standard for government workers that doesn’t exist in the private sector. This is why our property taxes are going up so much.

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  125. Yeah the assessor played a trick on everyone. The assessment level when from .16 to .10. My neighbors assessment notices stayed the same or went down when in reality the market values, which this time the assessor failed to put on the notice were up 35%. Since the state multiplier adjusts the assessed evaluation back up to 33%, my neighbors taxes will go up 35%.

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  126. Thanks G and Anon.

    “The question is what % did your assessed value rise, not the assessor’s market value.”

    Total assessed value 2009 first pass = 45,278
    Total assessed value 2008 board of review = 45,706

    I bought middle of last year and had an appraisal, which appraised at way more than I paid, but still way less than the Assessor’s market value. So does this mean my taxes might go down? Does that even happen?

    G and Anon, write that Taxes for Dummies book. Might be able to quit your day job. :)

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  127. Is this true? I see that the market value went way up, but the assessed value stayed about the same at a property I’m interested in.

    “Yeah the assessor played a trick on everyone. The assessment level when from .16 to .10. My neighbors assessment notices stayed the same or went down when in reality the market values, which this time the assessor failed to put on the notice were up 35%. Since the state multiplier adjusts the assessed evaluation back up to 33%, my neighbors taxes will go up 35%.”

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  128. CK
    Your market value:
    2009 45278 / .10 =452,780
    2008 45706 / .16=285,662
    Since the taxing bodies in Chicago levy their taxes (they do not used fixed rate) , their rates will jump. There will be some shift of taxes to commercial property from residential, but your taxes will be up dramatically.
    DBA

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  129. “Is this true? I see that the market value went way up, but the assessed value stayed about the same at a property I’m interested in.”

    Not really. The total tax bill (for everyone) is the total $$ from property taxes the govt gets; that’s $3B or $30B, regardless of the assessment levels.

    This gets divided by the total equalized assessed values (assessed value x 3-ish) to get the tax rate–which will be in the ballpark of 5%. Which will mean an effective tax rate (before applicable exemptions) of ~1.5% of the Assessor’s market value. Last year, it was around 2.4% of Assessor’s market value (which had little to do with *actual* market value).

    The only number that actually matters is the “assessed value” (G disagrees with me slightly about semantics on this; I think neither of us is “wrong”, just more or less precise/jargon-y).

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  130. CK, Yes and yes. But they will only go down if you appeal. I don’t know what township you are in, but only North and Lake are still open for appeals at the assessor. If not in those townships, you can go start your appeal at the Board of Review when the township opens for filing. Check their website for dates or call.

    Question, If your assmt is basically the same, your taxes will go up whatever the equal factor and tax rate dictate. Fact is, the “real” assmt level for residential was 10% in the past and not 16%. That is why you are seeing no assessed value change in a lot of cases. The assmt level “switch” was accompanied by a lowering of comm’l & industrial properties from 38%/36% to 25%. Those owners will be winning a lot of appeals since comm’l is tanking. This will combine to shift taxes from comm’l to residential but probably not to DBA’s conclusion.

    “Since the taxing bodies in Chicago levy their taxes (they do not used fixed rate) , their rates will jump. There will be some shift of taxes to commercial property from residential, but your taxes will be up dramatically.”

    DBA, the levy is applied to the assessed value, not the market value. If eveyone’s AV stayed the same nobody’s taxes would increase unless the levy does. Also, there will be a shift from commercial TO residential, not the other way.

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  131. “Since the taxing bodies in Chicago levy their taxes (they do not used fixed rate) , their rates will jump. ”

    If you are calculating the rate off of the Assessor’s Market Value, which is 60% higher, the *effective* tax rate is going to go down, for almost everyone–they are not going to collect 60% more tax from every home owner this year than they did last year.

    If you’re saying that the mill rate applied to the EAV is going up–it does (almost) every year. Same with the equalization factor. So the slight *decrease* in CK’s assessed value will still result in an *increased* tax bill.

    Whether it is “dramatically” higher depends on how -1% relates the aggregate EAV of all property in each taxation district applicable to CK’s house. If Agg.EAV is also -1%, then CK’s taxes will be higher by the same amount as the overall average (based entirely on budget requests). If Agg.EAV is -20%***, then CK (and I, too) will be paying a much larger share of the overall bill.

    ***G–>what’s the early line? It is an election year.

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  132. “The only number that actually matters is the “assessed value””

    I agree with you, anon. What I was trying to differentiate before is what we are seeing now. Past assessments at 16% were really at 10% so the change in 2009 would mean minimal changes to residential assessments and no room for appeal. Dropping comml & ind to 25% when they will have many winning appeals will result in a decline in overall assessment. This means a shift to residential since they will be more of the total pie.

    Anon, I think the Chicago tax rate has dropped in each of the past 12 years. Of course, the equalization factor has risen to negate it.

    Too early for that line, but I think DBA is high.

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  133. Thanks. I think I got it now.

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  134. Also as a side note, if your taxes go up and you are excrowing for them, but not enough is set aside, your bank will cover the differnce when the bill comes due and then increase your monthly payment to pay themselves back (should be at 0% int). But a simple phone call with your mortgage lender often lets you pay the shortage back over two or three years instead of just one if you are really trying to save a few hundered bucks a month now.

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  135. And besides, it’s basically an interest free loan spread over 2-3 years instead of one.

    This is extra helpful if you just bought new construction and this is the first tax bill due.

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  136. “Anon, I think the Chicago tax rate has dropped in each of the past 12 years. Of course, the equalization factor has risen to negate it.”

    Right you are, G (typing faster than thinking, as usual). EQ factor and increasing AV has allowed “our” public servants to lie to us about “lowering taxes” even tho taxes have gone up while remaining technically truthful.

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  137. ps–the 2002 general mill rate in the city was over 7.25% of EAV, so the tax rate has gone down over 30% in 6 years even as we all pay more taxes.

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  138. I just had a thought. If the county or city wants to evoke eminent domain for some reason. Does that mean they would just take the numbers for market price from the assessors office? Just curious.

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  139. “I just had a thought. If the county or city wants to evoke eminent domain for some reason. Does that mean they would just take the numbers for market price from the assessors office? Just curious.”

    It would be hard for them to offer *less* than the “market value” with a straight face, but I don’t doubt their ability to attempt to lowball and strong arm.

    But one need not blindly accept eminent domain monetary offers, if one is prepared to go to the mat in court. You will lose on poseesion, but you can prevail as to what compensation you will receive.

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  140. “but I don’t doubt their ability to attempt to lowball and strong arm. ”

    :)

    As a close friend says “It all belongs to the government anyway”.

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  141. “The only number that actually matters is the “assessed value””

    I do not believe this to be true. Ignoring the reclass of taxes to commercial:

    If the are only 2 entiies, the taxing body and the tax payer:

    If in 2008 the taxing body levied $2,000, And the taxpayers market value is $10,000 his assessed value at 16% would be 1600. multiplied by the state multiplyer of 2 = 3200 (his assessed value); the tax rate would be 2,000/3200 = .625 and his taxes .625 x 3200 (assesessed value) = 2,000.

    In 2009 the assessment changes to 10%. The calculation is $10,000 market x 10% = 1,000 assessment x equalizer (this is what will really change, but let’s ignore it) 2 = 2,000. The tax rate will be 2,000 (levy) /2,000 (assessed value) = 1.00. and taxes paid 1.00 x 2,000 = 2,000. No change in taxes even thought taxpayer’s assessed evaluation goes for 3,200 to 2,000.

    The only things that matter are the market value and the tax levy. “assessed value’ does not matter except in relation to the total assessed evaluation, ie how much of the taxes do you pay vs the other guy. CK will be paying much, much higher taxes.

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  142. Thanks for this in-depth discussion on property taxes, all you contributors. As a lurker on the site that has been looking at places and couldn’t understand what was going on, it is a godsend. Sabrina should post this discussion on property taxes for future readers, to avoid duplicating questions. Good stuff. Thx.

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  143. Why doesn’t Emily Sachs Wong work at @properties?

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  144. BigBadBank,

    good info on spreading that over three years, the average person would have never known to do that. when i called my bank/mortgage company about being short they never offered that. I was about to send a check for the Diff but the guy at least offered just to raise the escro portion for that year to build it back up. my taxes are small so it didnt matter what way i went.

    “Also as a side note, if your taxes go up and you are excrowing for them, but not enough is set aside, your bank will cover the differnce when the bill comes due and then increase your monthly payment to pay themselves back (should be at 0% int). But a simple phone call with your mortgage lender often lets you pay the shortage back over two or three years instead of just one if you are really trying to save a few hundered bucks a month now.”

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  145. Interesting site. Thought I would pass it on.

    “The Cook County property tax system is unique in that it is riddled with confusion and is often inconsistent. In fact, a top level Cook County assessing official described the assessment process as a “Mystical Maze” in the February 26, 2006 edition of the Chicago Tribune. What is unique about Cook County’s tax system is the level of confusion that has practically become institutionalized as new legislation designed to further confuse everyone, is constantly being proposed. The effect of all this new legislation is simply bouncing the tax burden off of one group of unsuspecting taxpayers onto another group of unsuspecting taxpayers. This process continues with the objective being to further muddy the waters and increase tax revenues.”

    http://www.propertytax.net/services.cfm

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  146. “The only things that matter are the market value and the tax levy.”

    That’s how it *should* work. But if that’s how you think it *actually* works in Cook County, more power to you.

    All you have to do is look at what happened to AVs v. MVs in the 08->09 transition–the AVs changed very little while MVs went up 60% (to a number that at least vaguely resembles actual market sale value). This *could* be a first step to simplifying the property tax system (to the way it *should* work), but I wouldn’t count on it.

    In calculating taxes on any parcel, the numerator is the PIN’s EAV and the denominator is Aggregate EAV for all PINs, muliplied by the total budget request. EAV is certainly based on MV, but one should not care if your MV is $5 or $5mm (and one can ignore the EqFactor, as it applies to all the same), as long as your AV retains the same (or a smaller) ratio to AgAV from one year to the next.

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  147. thanks for the summary anon!

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  148. DBA, in addition to what anon wrote, I have some comments.

    “Ignoring the reclass of taxes to commercial”

    Reclassification means changing from one prop type to another, i.e. an old industrial loft is converted to condos and is reclassified from a class 5 to a class 2. I’m lost as to your meaning.

    You are confusing the taxes due with the levy. The levy is the total amount of the the taxing units’ budgets that are to be paid by the prop tax.

    Here’s the part I’ve mentioned before that might help: the prior 16% level for class 2 props was actually underassessed at a 10% level per sales ratio studies. That is why many have seen little to no decrease in 2009 assessed value and what appears to be a big jump in the assessor’s market value.

    The equalization factor will not be impacted by the drop to 10% since the state has always calculated the equal factor per sales ratio studies. The 10% level (not 16%) was already figured into the 2008 equal factor. The equalization factor will rise if total residential assmts grow more than total comml assmts, thus resulting in a larger factor needed to get to 33.33% because of 10%-ers making up a greater % of TAV in the overall mix than in 2008.

    Anon, I don’t know the “real” intent but do know that the intenders did not intend for unintended consequences.

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  149. good you have your day job, G!

    “Anon, I don’t know the “real” intent but do know that the intenders did not intend for unintended consequences.”

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  150. “Anon, I don’t know the “real” intent but do know that the intenders did not intend for unintended consequences.”

    But of course. Also, of course, there may be unintended beneficiaries (and victims) of the intentions, but one can be reasonably certain that the intended consequeunces will benefit some who have done the work to gain a benefit while obscuring who was the beneficiary of the work done by (or on behalf of) the intended benficiary of the inteded consequences. Or something like that.

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  151. Exactly.

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  152. To paraphrase our MREDLLC rules (MLS), if half the living space is above grade level, you can count it as a bedroom, i.e in a duplex down or finished basement, lower level of a town home etc…
    I have not looked at this house specifically, but if the space is 50% above grade, has a closet and natural light source…it’s a bedroom.

    “a on February 17th, 2010 at 7:39 am
    Tip: When you’re trying to sell your house for $2 million dollars, dont count the rooms in the basement as “bedrooms”.”

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  153. I went ahead an ran all my numbers with the new %10 to see what I would get.

    Assuming everything else from 08 is the same, it looks like my taxes would drop just a very small amount. Now if I could get my MV down to where it SHOULD be it would cut my taxes almost in half. And that would be a nice hunk of change.

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  154. CK, if you have a recent appraisal indicating you are overassessed then you should appeal. If not, get it appraised as of 1/1/09 if you know it is overassessed.

    Remember, your appeal will set the new assessed value for the next 3 years worth of tax bills, which is an even nicer chunk of change.

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  155. Now I just have to figure out WHEN I can file an appeal.

    “This PIN: ***** is not open for appeals at this time because the town is closed.”

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  156. “Now I just have to figure out WHEN I can file an appeal.”

    Appeal to the board of review, not the assessor. Find an tax appeals lawyer (you must have gotten mail from them) or maybe G has a rec.

    Else (and I don’t recommend, not bc they won’t be helpful, but bc it is less effective) you can call the alderman’s office.

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  157. I did get mail from a few. The ones mailing me were looking for something like 30%+ of whatever they save me. I understand this may be high.

    Would love a good atty. referral as I’d be more than willing to pay a bit for the convenience.

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  158. “The ones mailing me were looking for something like 30%+ of whatever they save me. I understand this may be high.”

    That’s their ask. You needn’t blindly agree. And, if I understand the ask correctly (haven’t used them as I am assessed too much like the rest of the hood and other factors), it’s 30% of the first year savings, so you’re actually only paying ~1/9 of total 3-year savings.

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  159. In that case 10% does sound more reasonable. Thanks.

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  160. “In that case 10% does sound more reasonable. Thanks.”

    Advice subject to G telling us I am totally wrong, of course.

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  161. Like that hasn’t happened to all of us

    “Advice subject to G telling us I am totally wrong, of course.”

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