Why Thousands of Cook County Residents Pay Zero in Property Taxes

Thousands of Chicago and Cook County residents are paying nothing for their property taxes. Programs like the senior citizen assessment freeze exemption and a new state law eliminating property taxes for veterans who are 70-percent disabled have shifted the tax burden to other homeowners and businesses.

The property tax breaks are meant for the most vulnerable residents who would be forced out of their homes without the benefits, but some wealthy people are taking advantage of the laws. There is a cap on the disabled veteran’s benefit – if the residence has an equalized assessed value of less than $250,000.  

Joining host Phil Ponce with more on the story is Chicago Sun-Times watchdog reporter Tim Novak. His recent article, titled “Their property tax bills? Zero,” explores the issue with analysis of more than 880,000 tax bills and property assessments in Chicago.


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