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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