Preserving Neighborhoods


Cook County Board takes action on Property Taxes.

Affordable housing is a valuable community asset which is usually created though substantial public investment. Once a property is placed in service property taxes are the single largest operating expense. Reducing or eliminating this expense will maintain the initial public investment, slow rent increases and allow for the development of more affordable units at lower rents.

Controlling property tax growth allows long-term renters and owners to stay in communities. The property tax proposals in the Valuing Affordability Preserving Neighborhoods campaign encourage the preservation of existing affordable housing and the development of new affordable housing in communities across the Chicago region. The proposals are:

Nonprofit Affordable Housing Exemption: All nonprofit owned affordable housing will be exempt from property taxes as long as it continues to be affordable and the income from the property is used to benefit of the property for operating expenses or rental subsidy. Current Illinois Property Tax Code does not allow for a general exemption for nonprofit ownership of low-income rental housing. Only housing for senior citizens and the disabled, such as HUD 202, are exempt. Other states, such as Texas and California, allow for a complete exemption of non-profit owned affordable housing from local property taxes.

PASSED! Class 9 Extension: The existing affordable housing property tax program, Class 9, would be extended to all areas of Cook County. Class 9 effectively reduces property tax for affordable rental housing. Currently the program is restricted to certain low and moderate income areas as defined by the Census. Extending Class 9 to all of Cook County will allow for the creation of affordable housing close to high job growth areas.

In the News

Incentive for low-cost housing, Chicago Tribune, 9/7/01

PASSED! Section 8 Preservation: Owners of expiring project-based Section 8 buildings in areas with high market values would be given property tax relief as an incentive to renew their Section 8 contracts.

PASSED! Class 3 Reduction: Reduce assessment level on rental apartments over 6 units from 33% to 26% to promote rental housing options.

Download a printable factsheet on Preserving Neighborhoods
Assessing Government Assisted Multi-Family Housing, a report commissioned by CRN in November 2000. (65K PDF)
Link to Cook County Assessor

Return to Campaign Components