The Best and Worst Illinois Counties for Property Tax Rates

Property tax rates vary wildly from state to state. And in Illinois, which has the second highest property tax rates in the country, they also vary quite a lot from county to county.

Illinois has long been a great place to buy land, thanks to ample amounts of farmable acreage and the growth potential afforded by Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. But as with any land investment, it’s important to consider the full picture of what your costs are going to be—and that includes property taxes.

The average state property tax rate in Illinois is 2.31%, according to data from SmartAsset. That’s more than double the national average of 1.08%, and is second only to New Jersey, where the average property tax rate currently stands at 2.44%. A typical property owner in Illinois will pay about $4,000 to $6,000 a year in property taxes alone, making this cost a major contributing factor to whether your land investment is financially feasible.

Still, there are a lot of benefits to buying land in Illinois. So with that in mind, here are the counties where you’ll find the best (and worst) property tax rates.


Hardin County. Median property tax payment: $508/year.

Located right on the border of Illinois and Kentucky, Hardin County is the least populous county in all of the state—and the place where you’ll find the lowest property tax rate. It’s also the second smallest county in Illinois at a total of just 182 square miles.

Pulaski County. Median property tax payment: $662/year.

Another Illinois/Kentucky border county with low interest rates is Pulaski, located just south of the Shawnee National Forest.

Wayne County. Median property tax payment: $915/year.

You might be noticing a trend here, which is that the Illinois counties with the lowest property tax rates all seem to be located down south in the state. Wayne is a little bit more central than the previous two though, and has a considerably higher population too.


Kendall County. Median property tax payment: $6,450/year.

Kendall County encompasses some of the far western suburbs of Chicagoland, where an average annual property tax rate of 3.00% is as high as it gets.

Winnebago County. Median property tax payment: $3,480/year.

The county home of Rockford, Winnebago is another place where you’ll find a 3.00% property tax rate. The annual payment is offset only by the fact that average property costs tend to be cheaper.

McHenry County. Median property tax payment: $6,148/year.

McHenry is the sixth most populous county in Illinois, and also home to a 2.89% property tax rate.
So what about Chicago? Cook County, which is the city’s home, is right under the average property tax rate for the state at 2.12%, which a median property tax payment of $4,815.
Keep in mind that low property tax rates don’t mean a county is the best place to invest in, nor do high property tax rates mean a county should be out of the running. You’ll need to weigh all of the contributing factors inherent in a potential land investment to determine whether it’s worth it and what kind of return you might be able to expect.

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Where to Find the Lowest Property Taxes in the Nation


by Laura Mueller

Property taxes are a reminder that owning land is far from a no-cost endeavor after your initial investment. And depending on where your land is, you may by paying quite a bit more—or quite a bit less—than land owners in surrounding states.

Property taxes vary quite a bit from state to state, with the average American spending about $2,279 a year, according to a report from the finance team at WalletHub. Own land in New Jersey, Illinois, or New Hampshire though and you’re going to spend significantly more than that amount every single year.

There are a lot of factors that matter when you’re deciding where to buy land. And if your scope is large and you’re not set on a certain state, property taxes are usually going to be one of those factors. So where should you look if you want to score the best deals on your property tax bill? The list below is a good place to start.

The 11 states with the lowest property tax rates:

  1. Hawaii – Property Tax Rate: 0.27%
  2. Alabama – Property Tax Rate: 0.42%
  3. Louisiana – Property Tax Rate: 0.52%
  4. Colorado and the District of Columbia – Property Tax Rate: 0.55%
  5. Delaware – Property Tax Rate: 0.56%
  6. South Carolina – Property Tax Rate: 0.57%
  7. West Virginia – Property Tax Rate: 0.59%
  8. Wyoming – Property Tax Rate: 0.61%
  9. Arkansas – Property Tax Rate: 0.63%
  10. Utah – Property Tax Rate: 0.66%

Based on a property price of $194k (the median home price in the country), property owners in these states pay between just $525 and $1,280 a year—thousands less than property owners in states with the highest property tax rates.

Speaking of those high rate states….

The 11 states with the highest property tax rates:

  1. New Jersey – Property Tax Rate: 2.44%
  2. Illinois – Property Tax Rate: 2.31%
  3. New Hampshire – Property Tax Rate: 2.20%
  4. Connecticut – Property Tax Rate: 2.07%
  5. Wisconsin – Property Tax Rate: 1.94%
  6. Vermont and Texas – Property Tax Rate: 1.83%
  7. Nebraska – Property Tax Rate: 1.80%
  8. New York – Property Tax Rate: 1.68%
  9. Rhode Island – Property Tax Rate: 1.66%
  10. Michigan – Property Tax Rate: 1.64%

With the same median home price of $194k taken into consideration, property owners in these states are paying an average of anywhere from $3,179 to $4,725 in property taxes each year—more than double what property owners in the states with the lowest property taxes are spending.

Of course, if you’re looking to make a strong land investment, the property tax itself isn’t the only thing to consider. But knowing where to look for the lowest property tax rates can help you make an investment that isn’t just sound on purchase but that will cost you less over time.

*All data from WalletHub’s 2019’s Property Taxes by State report.

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