If You Care About Your Property Taxes, You Need to Care About Local Elections

November 6, 2021

If you are a homeowner in any state in this country, you pay property taxes.  You probably know exactly how much you pay, and perhaps even where all of the money goes.  

But did you also know that you have a voice in determining the leaders who will spend all of that money?  But — Who are they?  What do they stand for?  What is the election cycle?  When are the monthly board meetings?

Your Property Tax Rate

In the most basic sense, the Assessor of the Township in which you reside is required by State Statute to assess your property at one-third of its fair market value*

Basically, if the fair market value of your home is $300,000, the assessed value would be roughly $100,000.  

From there, your total tax rate is determined by the taxing bodies that you support depending on where you live: such as school districts, forest preserves, libraries, park districts, townships, COD, fire districts, etc.  

Each taxing district has a different rate for each village.  For example, each resident of incorporated Lombard paid a rate of 5.54% of their assessed value to the Helen Plum Library for 2020.  Those who live in unincorporated Lombard do not pay that because they do not receive library service benefits.

Townships and Villages post tax distribution percentages, but the real way to know exactly where your tax dollars are going is by looking up the allocation of your exact property here.

Local Examples

Here are three examples of homes in Lombard that share approximately the same assessed value.  Homes 1 and 2 are located in unincorporated Lombard, while Home 3 is located in incorporated Lombard:  

Home 1

Home 2

Home 3

Home 1

Home 2

Home 3

The Closer You Look, The More Questions You May Have.

Take a look at your own property tax allocation breakdown.

  • What services does the Village of Lombard provide to taxpayers?
  • What exactly does York Township do?
  • Why are different areas taxed at different rates for the same thing?
  • What is the DuPage County Special Service 37 is and what services do they provide?
  • Do you think your local boards are advocating for the diverse needs of residents in DuPage County?
  • Why are fire department services so much more expensive for unincorporated residents?

Taxes and Local Elections

Paying attention to local elections is paying attention to how a lot of your money is being spent, whether you like it or not.

  • The homeowner in Home 1 is voting for District 45 School Board Members who will decide how roughly $12,000 of their dollars will be spent over four years.
  • $375 per year to the Park District for Home 1 may not seem like a lot, but Park District Board Commissioner positions are 6-year appointments.  That comes out to $2,250 over six years.

What You Can Do

The decisions these boards make have huge effects on the services provided, and we all have a chance to vote for the elected officials who make these decisions.

  • Get together with your neighbors and keep each other informed (since you all pay the same tax rates to the same taxing parties). 
  • Attend local board meetings, either solo or with friends and neighbors (and make a plan to go out after the meeting to debrief and think about next steps).
  • Use your voice when given the opportunity to make public comments at board meetings, either in person or via email. Be respectful. 
  • Review the budgets posted on the websites listed below.
  • Get to know local elected officials and email or call them with any questions and concerns.  Hold them accountable!
  • Vote in your local elections!  
  • Get your family, friends and neighbors to vote, too!
  • RUN FOR OFFICE YOURSELF!  As long as you live in the district, you can run – and DuPage for Progress can help!  

Important Links

DuPage County

York Township

Local Boards

DuPage for Progress Volunteer

Sarah Campagna

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