A new report due out next week from an independent government watchdog will say property taxes are weighing heavy on Illinoisans' pockets.
13 News was given an advanced copy of the report to see just how much homeowners are being hit in their pockets.
According to the Illinois Policy Institute, 6.4 percent of people's incomes are going to pay for property taxes. Twenty years ago , it was half that.
So what's happened? That's a loaded question. What's garnered more of a consensus is that most of the taxes are going to pay down old debt.
"We're losing a net of one person every 6.5 minutes in Illinois," said Ted Dabrowski, Vice President of Policy at the Illinois Policy Institute. "The problem is now people are saying wait a minute, the roads aren't any better. We don't have more police on the street. I'm not getting more for my classrooms. So they're starting to get that gut feel that their taxes are growing, and they know their incomes aren't growing."
In fact, the Illinois Policy Institute's report due out next week will state property taxes have grown 3.3 times faster than people's incomes since 1990.
"The titanic is already turning around," said Ken Crowley.
Crowley believes that wholeheartedly. He's a numbers guy at his core, but the Rockford Township Assessor has a good feeling. From what he saw this year in his office, the assessed value of people's homes are nearly leveling off. If the city continues to transform itself, they'll go up, way up, he said.
Right now, Winnebago County has the 7th highest property tax burden out of 102 counties in the state. Dabrowski said that figure is unacceptable especially considering the population size of the others in the top ten.
What can change this? The Illinois Policy Institute said a universal property tax freeze would help, as well as growing the economy and cutting fat from the budget.