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Good news! It says the value of my house fell 6 percent.
Yay, whee, whoo! As everyone knows, that must mean I'll pay less in property taxes! Right?
Explanation time . . .
As I've said a few times, the amount we pay in property taxes is determined by the tax rate multiplied by the value of our property.
And our property’s value is reassessed every three years by the assessor, currently the aforementioned Mr. Joe Berrios.
What up, Joe!
The assessor supposedly bases his assessments on an objectively scientific, computer-driven analysis of home sales. But as his assessments rarely, if ever, even remotely resemble the sale price of property, I've long since assumed it's set by assessor-office employees throwing darts at a dartboard.
Back to the explanation . . .
If my property’s value is $500,000 and the tax rate's 10 percent, then how much do I pay in property taxes?
And if Assessor Joe lowers my value 6 percent to about $470,000 and the tax rate remains 10 percent, I pay how much?
Which means I save how much?
Right on! Think I'll use it as a down payment on that little red convertible I've been meaning to buy.
Hold it! Time for a correction in the old explanation.
Just because Assessor Joe lowered the value of my property does not—repeat, does not—automatically mean that my property taxes will go down.
Even though most Chicagoans automatically believe that. Which means nothing because most Chicagoans will pretty much believe any old bullshit.
This requires more fun-filled explanation!
The amount I pay in property taxes is also determined by the amount everyone else pays in property taxes and the amount the government consumes in property taxes.
So . . .
If Assessor Joe lowers everyone’s property values by 6 percent, I'm basically right back where I started.
And if Mayor Rahm jacks up the tax rate—in his insatiable desire to waste even more money on stupid shit that no one needs—then my taxes will go up.
Even if the value of my property has gone down.
So . . .
If my home value falls to $470,000 but the tax rate rises to 20 percent, I will pay how much, everybody?
Which is more or less than the $5,000 I had been paying before Assessor Joe lowered my assessment?
As Mayor Rahm would put it.
In short, the more our mayor wastes on stupid shit, the more you, me, and everyone else will pay in property taxes.
Even if you—like me—did not vote for him.
Although I have long advocated for a system in which I'm exempted from property taxes cause I did not vote for Mayor Daley, who was even better than Mayor Emanuel at wasting tax dollars.
Speaking of which . . .
Mayor Rahm's gearing up to waste untold billions with his cockamamy infrastructure scam/scheme, which will likely jack up the cost the city spends to borrow money in the name of saving money.
What a mayor!
That way he can give more of our tax dollars to his cronies in the banking/investment game. Because taking care of friends is what being mayor's all about.
Well, that and turning teachers into serfs. And cutting libraries. And shutting down mental health clinics. And fucking with my taxes.
Hey, here's an idea—let's make Joe Berrios the mayor.
He couldn't be any worse than the guy we have now.