2018 St. Clair County Property Tax Report: Cahokia, East St. Louis, New Athens, Millstadt face top tax bills
Accountant Andrew Davidson is trying to sell his custom built four bedroom, four bath at 1825 10th Fairway Drive in Belleville, with more than 4,300 square feet on a one acre lot.
Asking $599,000, his is currently the most expensive home for sale in The Orchards, a golf course subdivision on the far southeast side of town.
Its property tax bill: $17,918, up from 42 percent in five years from $12,694 in 2013.
A buyer putting 20 percent down and getting a 30 year mortgage at current rates can expect to pay $3,759 per month for Davidson’s home— $2,266 per month in principal and interest for the home, plus $1,493 in property taxes.
That’s more than a buyer would pay for a 25 percent more expensive, $750,000 home across the river in Crestwood, Mo., where the tax bill is less than half ($8,319) and total monthly payments would be $200 less, a total of $3,530.
The property tax difference between Belleville and Crestwood, which if tax bills held firm would add up to about $288,000 over thirty years, explains why, as home prices soar nationally, in St. Clair County they have run in place over the past decade.
Home equity appreciation in the Metro East, like Illinois more broadly, is being siphoned away by local governments in the form of record property tax bills.
An analysis of home sales and tax bills over the first six months of 2018 by Local Government Information Services (LGIS), which publishes the Metro East Sun, found that 13 of 19 St. Clair County communities have effective property tax rates of more than twice the national average of 1.15 percent.
Cahokia (5.45 percent), East St. Louis (4.53), Centreville (4.09), Fairmont City (2.95), New Athens (2.92) and Millstadt (2.72) have the highest property tax rates in the county.
In Belleville, the effective rate for the first six months of 2018 was 2.50 percent, or a bill of $2,427 on a median-valued home of $97,000.
That means a homeowner in Belleville is paying $202 per month in property taxes, compared to just $80 on an identically-valued home in Missouri, where the average rate is 1.00 percent.
Belleville’s median home sale price for the first six months of 2018, rose nine percent, from $89,000 over the same period last year. But it remains 12 percent lower than it was a decade ago; the median sale price in Belleville in 2008 was $110,000, adjusted for inflation.
13 percent tax rates in Cahokia
Some states, like Indiana, enforce a hard one percent cap on residential property taxes. That cap stops local government leaders there from, in effect, tapping taxpayers' home equity without their express permission to fund more spending, by way of higher tax bills.
The impact of a one percent hard cap, an initative being pushed in Illinois by the Homeowners Defense Association, a taxpayers' advocacy group, and supported by a slate of candidates for state office, is highest at the lowest end of the market, where effective tax rates border on the absurd.
A one percent cap would mean a three bedroom, two bath at 1176 Julie Ave. in Cahokia, currently for sale for $59,975, would see its tax bill lowered from $2,276-- an effective rate of 3.8 percent-- to just $599 per year.
A two bedroom, 840 square foot home at 14 Cahokia Street, for sale for $11,000, would see its tax bill lowered to $110 from $1,474 (13 percent).
In East St. Louis, a 1,300 square-foot two bedroom sold Aug. 3 for $7,000.
Its property tax bill: $1,783, or 25 percent of the home's value.
The buyer, if they put 20 percent down and secured a 30 year mortgage, will pay $26 per month in principal and interest and $149 in property taxes.
The median home price through six months of 2018 in East St. Louis was $12,000.
St. Clair County communities paying the highest effective property tax rates
The following table ranks St. Clair 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.
|City||Jan - June 2018 Sales||Jan - June 2018 Median Price||2016 median tax||Effective Tax Rate|
|East St. Louis||34||$12,000||$543||4.53%|
St. Clair County communities with the highest median home price
The following table ranks St. Clair County communities by the change in their median sale price from 2017 (full year) to 2018 (Jan. 1 through June 30).
|City||Jan - June 2017 Sales||Jan - June 2017 Median Price||Jan - June 2018 Sales||Jan - June 2018 Median Price||Change|
|East St. Louis||47||$11,500||34||$12,000||4.35%|