Property Tax

November, 4, 2022

Property Taxes - Information and FAQ

An important source of revenue for the Village - but not the only source - is property tax. The River Forest Township Assessor can assist residents with any missing or incorrect exemptions and act as a resident’s advocate with the Cook County Assessor’s Office.  Contact the River Forest Township Assessor at 708-366-2787 or via email at for more information. Property owners should review their tax bills to ensure that all exemptions they are entitled to were received. 

What will the levy increase be for Tax Year 2022?

The table below shows the tax levy increases that have been introduced by local taxing bodies. Please contact the respective taxing body for more detailed information. 

Taxing Body Estimated 2022 Tax Year Levy Increase
Village of River Forest 3.7%
River Forest Park District 5%
District 90


District 200 3.96%
River Forest Library 4.9%
Cook County 0.4%
River Forest Township TBD

Where do your Property Tax Dollars Go?

While no one enjoys cutting the check to the Cook County Treasurer’s office, it is important to understand that the Village portion of the property tax bill is roughly 11.9%. The other roughly 88% of the property tax bill is made up of other taxing bodies or units of government that levy residents and businesses. For example, 72% of our property tax bill is made of D90, D200, and Triton College. The Village utilizes the 11.9% that is collected in property taxes from residents and businesses to fund Village services that residents and businesses expect such as public safety, snow removal from Village streets and alleys, and more. It is also important to understand what the Village does to ensure that this community remains a desirable place for people to live and work. 


What is a Property Tax Rate and How Does it Impact my Bill?

In calculating property taxes for an individual property, the property tax rate is the amount determined by local taxing districts and multiplied by the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) of property. To calculate the EAV of property the Cook County Assessor first determines the fair market value of the property. The assessed value for residential homes in Cook County is 10% of the fair market value. For commercial properties, it is 25% of the fair market value. Cook County is assessed at a lower percentage of fair market value than all other counties in the state. Therefore, a State Equalization Factor/Multiplier is applied to the assessed value. This creates the EAV for the property. The State Equalization Factor saw a significant increase this year which, while lowering the tax rate, also had a negative effect on the value of all exemptions. To learn more about these terms and how a residential tax bill is calculated, click here.  Residents can also visit the Cook County Property Tax Portal to learn more.

The graphic below demonstrates how property tax is calculated. Tax rates for each taxing body or district are calculated by taking that district's levy and dividing it by the taxable value within the boundaries of that district. The composite tax rate is then comprised of each taxing body’s rates added together. 

How does River Forest's Tax Rate compare to neighboring communities?

River Forest's composite tax rate compares favorably to many nearby communities. Below is a sample of average composite tax rates from 2020 and 2019. Cook County has not yet released the figures for the 2021 tax year.  A homeowner with a home valued at $400,000 would pay less in property taxes in River Forest than a homeowner with a $400,000 home in any of the other suburbs listed below. 

Municipality 2020 Composite Tax Rate 2019 Composite Tax Rate
River Forest 9.429 10.646
Melrose Park 9.819 11.401
Elmwood Park 11.268 10.001
Forest Park 10.294 12.072
Riverside 11.046 12.069
Oak Park 11.325 13.161
Maywood 17.131 21.698

Source: Cook County Tax Rate Report

What is Included in the Overall River Forest Tax Rate?

The River Forest tax rate includes all of the tax rates of the individual taxing bodies added together. This includes District 90, District 200, the Village, the Library, the Township, Cook County, the Forest Preserve, and more. River Forest’s property tax rate is complemented by its wonderful community assets such as strong public safety, walkable neighborhoods, award-winning schools, beautiful parks, a historic public library, and many convenient transportation options.  These strengths, coupled with a lower property tax rate, are what creates great value for the residents of River Forest.

How Much of My Property Tax Bill Goes to the Village of River Forest?

Of the property taxes each property owner pays, the Village makes up only a small portion, 11.9%. Other taxing bodies make up the remaining portion, as shown in the chart below. 


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