Tax Policy

Tax Policy

By reforming state and local taxation, the region would benefit from new policies that help to advance rather than undermine GO TO 2040 goals. Tax policy should encourage local decisions that make effective use of land, generate good jobs, and trigger sustainable economic activity. 

Regional Tax Policy Task Force Advisory Report

Created by the CMAP Board to make recommendations on state and local tax policy matters addressed in GO TO 2040, the Regional Tax Policy Task Force met from April 2011 to January 2012. It was charged with advising the CMAP Board on issues central to state and local fiscal policy, viewed through the lens of the regional economy, sustainability, equity, and the connections between tax policies and development decisions. The task force existed to advise the CMAP Board and had no statutory or independent authority. After ten meetings and extensive staff-supported research, the task force prepared an advisory report, which the CMAP Board received at its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on February 8, 2012.

Impacts of Local Development Decisions

A CMAP report, Fiscal and Economic Impact Analysis of Local Development Decisions, contains a case-study analysis of the fiscal impacts of 31 developments in 10 of the region's communities, as well as an assessment of regional economic and market impacts. The focus of this report is on municipal fiscal impacts, although some analysis of other districts is provided. While each case study exists within a unique set of localized market and fiscal conditions, CMAP has identified several trends regarding fiscal impact practice, revenue sources, and infrastructure and service costs.

Local Economic Development Incentives Report

A CMAP report, Examination of Local Economic Development Incentives in Northeastern Illinois, analyzes how local governments use incentives to attract or retain businesses such as retail stores, auto dealerships, corporate offices, and manufacturing or warehousing industries or encourage the redevelopment of underutilized sites and the construction of affordable housing and mixed-use development. Although 202 out of 284 municipalities in northeastern Illinois are using economic development incentives, their impact is not widely understood. To determine their prevalence, structure, and goals -- along with their effects on development in the region -- CMAP studied the following incentives: sales tax rebates, tax increment financing (TIF) districts, property tax abatements, and property tax incentive classifications unique to Cook County.

Decoding Property Taxes & Classification

Property taxes are among the policies that CMAP is evaluating after a regional task force on state and local tax policy submitted an advisory report to the CMAP Board. The first of two-part issue brief explains how property taxes are determined throughout the region, providing details of how property taxes pay for services delivered by particular units of government.

Cook County Property Tax Classification

The second in this two-part issue brief highlights how phasing out this system could make established communities more attractive for redevelopment and infill of vacant or underutilized land.

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Tax Policy Updates


March 05, 2019

The benefits of adding more services to Illinois' sales tax base

This analysis is one of a series examining transportation funding in northeastern Illinois and explaining the revenue recommendations included in ON TO 2050.

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November 28, 2017

Property tax burden in the Chicago region

Nov 28, 2017 Property tax burden in the Chicago region Download the PDF . ...

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May 11, 2016

Sales tax rebates remain prevalent in northeastern Illinois

  Download PDF now.   In Illinois, municipalities and counties receive sales tax revenue based on the location of sales.  This structure has resulted in the rise of an ...

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October 16, 2015

Retail vacancy and sales tax revenue in the CMAP region

This Policy Update looks at the relationship between retail vacancy and sales tax revenues in the region's communities.

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May 22, 2015

Recent Reports Explore State Revenue Reform Options and Challenges

The scheduled spring session of the 99 th Illinois General Assembly is coming to a close.  However, the state's Fiscal Year 2016 budget has not yet been passed due to significant disagreemen...

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May 11, 2015

Replacing the state motor fuel tax

There is growing consensus that continued reliance on the motor fuel tax (MFT) is not an appropriate long-term solution for transportation funding.  Despite being one of the primary revenu...

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February 06, 2015

Municipal Reliance on Property, Sales, and Income Taxes and Their Relative Stability

Local revenue sources differ in terms of stability and this variation affects the ability of communities to provide consistent services and maintain tax burdens.

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December 18, 2014

Civic Federation Report Profiles Unincorporated Cook County

The Civic Federation recently released a report profiling unincorporated areas across six Cook County townships.

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December 04, 2014

December 4, 2014

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November 07, 2014

Cook County property tax classification effects on property tax burden

The use of property tax classification in Cook County makes it difficult to encourage and strengthen non-residential development in existing communities.

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July 31, 2014

Local Government Consolidation Efforts in Northeastern Illinois

Evanston and River Forest Townships have explored ways to consolidate operations with their surrounding municipalities.

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July 16, 2014

New Report Describes Oregon Experience with Road Usage Fees

In 2013 Oregon enacted the nation's first road usage fee, following the completion of a pilot program.

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July 10, 2014

Comparing Municipal and Township Transportation Revenue Sharing in Illinois

While local motor fuel tax allotment criteria are uniform across the state, the road systems they serve are not.

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July 02, 2014

Recent Legislative Action on Local Government Consolidation

House Bill 5785 would allow a limited number of special districts to be dissolved into counties, municipalities, or other special districts.

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June 26, 2014

Senate Finance Committee Weighs Short-Term MAP-21 Extension

The Preserving America's Transit and Highways Act (PATH) of 2014 would extend the nation's highway and transit programs through December 31, 2014.

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June 20, 2014

Two New Highway Trust Fund Proposals

New federal transportation proposals attempt to identify sustainable revenue sources as the HTF nears insolvency later this summer and MAP-21 is set to expire September 30, 2014.

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June 18, 2014

Evaluation of State Transportation Revenue Sharing with Local Governments

This is the second in a series of three Policy Updates on the structure of transportation funding programs in Illinois, as well as the governance of the state and local highway system.

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June 13, 2014

Draft GO TO 2040 plan update available for public comment through August 1, 2014

Submit comments on-line and attend open house meetings throughout the region for the draft GO TO 2040 plan update and FFY 2014-19 Transportation Improvement Program.

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June 19, 2012

DuPage County Seeks to Improve Accountability and Efficiency

Last month, the DuPage County Board released an independent assessment of 24 special districts, each of which is governed by board members who are appointed by the DuPage County Board Chair. The...

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June 27, 2012

Decoding Property Taxes

Local news coverage this week has highlighted how difficult it can be to understand the process of assessing property taxes. The Chicago Tribune and Crain's Chicago Business both looked at the...

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