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Friday, December 13, 2019

2018 Madison County Property Tax Report: East Alton, Madison, Pontoon Beach, Highland have highest property tax bills

Real Estate

By LGIS Newsfeed | Aug 27, 2018

The home of Charlotte and Steve Blackledge.

Charlotte and Steve Blackledge are asking $429,000 for their 4,100 square foot ranch at 5200 Fox Cove in Edwardsville, overlooking the 18th fairway of Fox Creek Golf Course.

All things remaining equal, the Blackledge’s home, with its views and custom finishes, would be an easy sell. 

But things haven’t remained equal.

When they designed and built the house new in 1997, their property tax bill was around $5,000. By last year it had nearly doubled, to $9,673, or $806 per month.

Soaring Metro East property taxes over the past two decades are leading prospective Illinois buyers to evaluate their options on the other side of the river, where bills are a fraction of what they are here.

An analysis by Local Government Information Services (LGIS) of Madison County tax bills and home sales from the first six months of 2018 found 14 communities with effective property tax rates of more than twice the national average of 1.15%.

They include East Alton (4.01%), Madison (3.53%) Pontoon Beach (3.40%), Highland (3.19%, Hamel (2.92%), Bethalto (2.79%), Holiday Shores (2.62%), Alhambra (2.61%), Granite City (2.61%), Wood River (2.60%), Troy (2.55%), Hartford (2.55%), Alton (2.42%) and Glen Carbon (2.34%).

Tax bills in Edwardsville (2.09%), Collinsville (2.05%), Godfrey (2.05%) and Maryville (2.01%) are slightly lower, but still many times what homeowners pay in comparable Missouri communities.

The implications have been devastating for home equity in the Metro East.

$197K more in property taxes

A two story, four bedroom at 2928 Brazeau Ave. in Brentwood, Mo., a Mid St. Louis County suburb similar in demographics and median income ($72,903) to Edwardsville ($70,971), is half the size of the Blackledge’s Fox Creek home, and features a view of truck loading dock and a parking lot, not a fairway.

How its owners could be asking $429,000, too, is mostly explained by what the home doesn’t have.                                                                 

The property tax bill at 2928 Brazeau Avenue is $3,090, a bill of $257 per month, about one third of what they would pay in Edwardsville.

Monthly principal, taxes and interest payments for the Brentwood buyer will be $1,881 versus $2,429 in Edwardsville.

Provided tax rates don’t rise further, the Edwardsville buyer will pay at least $197,000 more in property taxes than the Brentwood one over 30 years.

Home buyers can do this math, too.

A pre-war, 918 square-foot, two bedroom, one bath at 112 E. Main St. in East Alton, just behind Van Preter Park, sold for $30,500 on Aug. 23.

Its owner paid $72,000 for it— $96,000 in today’s dollars— in 2004.

Property taxes on 112 E. Main St. are $1,583 per year, or an effective rate of 5.2 percent, 450 percent of the national average.

Monthly payments for the buyer will be $245— $113 in principal and interest, and $132 for property taxes.

This new Metro East normal— property tax bills that are higher than mortgage principal and interest payments— has halted home price appreciation here.

To see what could be in East Alton, where the median home price this year is $40,000, consider Festus, Mo., in Jefferson County, just south of St. Louis.

Festus is similar demographically and has a median income of $45,523, about the same as East Alton’s ($44,722). But its median home price in Festus is $160,700, according to Zillow, or four times as high.

A 2,260 square foot three bedroom, three bath at 501 Sunshine Drive in Festus sold for $157,500 on Aug. 14.

Its tax bill: $1,371, or $200 less per year than 112 E. Main St., which is one-third of the size and one fifth of the value.


Madison County communities paying the highest effective property tax rates

The following table ranks Madison County communities with more than five home sales by their median effective property tax rate, calculated using sales and property tax data from Jan. 1- June 30 2018.

CityJan - June 2018 SalesJan - June 2018 Median PriceMedian taxEffective tax rate
East Alton39$40,000$1,6164.04%
Pontoon Beach19$60,000$2,0403.40%
Holiday Shores16$149,250$3,9132.62%
Granite City179$57,000$1,4872.61%
Wood River44$60,500$1,5742.60%
Glen Carbon65$192,000$4,4942.34%
South Roxana7$42,500$8932.10%
Rosewood Heights24$84,500$1,6611.97%
Cedar Park5$87,500$1,6461.88%

Madison County communities with the highest median home price

The following table ranks Madison County communities by the change in their median sale price from 2017 (full year) to 2018 (Jan. 1 through June 30).

CityJan - June 2017 SalesJan - June 2017 Median PriceJan - June 2018 SalesJan - June 2018 Median PriceChange
South Roxana11$27,0007$42,50057.41%
Granite City343$52,000179$57,0009.62%
Cedar Park5$82,5005$87,5006.06%
Glen Carbon132$195,00065$192,000-1.54%
Rosewood Heights41$90,00024$84,500-6.11%
Wood River105$66,00044$60,500-8.33%
Holiday Shores29$165,90016$149,250-10.04%
Pontoon Beach33$92,00019$60,000-34.78%
East Alton63$62,00039$40,000-35.48%
Source:; Madison County Assessment Office; Madison County Recorder

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Organizations in this Story

Madison County RecorderVillage of East AltonCity of EdwardsvilleMadison County

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