Where Does Property Tax Money Go? Where Does It Come From?

Where Does Property Tax Money Go? Where Does It Come From?

  • Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of articles on Kane County Connects regarding the 2014 property tax bill that will be sent out to Kane County residents, starting April 24, 2015. You can also click on this link to see your tax bill online.

This sounds a little like the “birds and the bees” talk, and the subject matter is only a little bit less delicate and important.

Mommy, daddy: Where do property taxes come from?

Well, boys and girls, a lot of them come from mommy’s and daddy’s pocketbooks. Or the pocketbooks of anyone who owns a home in Kane County, whether or not the property owner is a mommy or a daddy.

And as to where property taxes go when they “pass on,” well, let’s say it straight out: Most of the money goes to public schools.

Here’s how it breaks down, according to the excellent Frequently Asked Questions about the 2014 (payable 2015) Kane County Property Tax Bills document recently published online through the coordinated efforts of Kane County Supervisor of Assessments Mark Armstrong, Kane County Clerk John A. Cunningham and Kane County Treasurer David Rickert.

Q: Where does the property tax money come from?

A: It comes from all types of property, according to its proportional value of the total property in the County:

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You can read the chart, obviously, but about three-quarters of the more than $1.255 billion collected in Kane County comes from residential property taxpayers. If I did the math right, that means more than $937 million comes from homeowners like you and me.

The balance of property taxes collected in Kane County comes from the owners of commercial and industrial property (see “Top 10 Kane County Property Taxpayers“), with the remaining 2.2 percent coming from the owners of farmland and railroad property.

The “where it comes from” percentages are only slightly different than they were last year. (“Last year” being the 2013 taxes paid in 2014. See last year’s Kane County Connects article, “Important FAQs About Your 2014 Tax Bill,” for last year’s charts.)

The good news for homeowners is that a fraction of a percentage point less came from residential taxes payable this year. (Last year, we paid 74.9 percent, compared to 74.6 percent this year.) Industrial property taxpayers took on a slightly greater burden year over year, paying 8.3 percent of the total property taxes collected last year and 8.6 percent this year.

Q: Where does the property tax money go?

A: The largest portion goes to the school districts; the remaining portions go to the other local governments in the county:

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A greater percentage of your property-tax dollars will go to local schools this year than a year ago. Last year, about 68.2 percent of the property taxes went to schools; this year, it’s 69.1 percent.

That means all the other taxing bodies are either breaking even or taking a small slice of the pie.

  • Cities collected 9.9 percent last year and 9.8 percent this year.
  • Forest Preserve and Park Districts collected 7.0 percent last year and 6.8 percent this year.
  • Kane County collected 4.5 percent last year and 4.3 percent this year.
  • Townships collected 2.6 percent last year and 2.5 percent this year.
  • Libraries’ slice of the pie stayed the same (3.1 percent), as did the Tax Increment Financing District/Other taxing bodies (1.5 percent.)

For More Information

Read the Series