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Chicago Family Faces 440% Property Tax Increase, Possible Bankruptcy

Chicago Family Faces 440% Property Tax Increase, Possible Bankruptcy

A Chicago family who owns an apartment building has found themselves facing a shocking 440% property tax increase.

Credit: Taidgh Barron/Getty Images

Michael Markellos, who owns a 10-unit complex with his mother, will now owe $17,494 in property taxes for a one-bedroom apartment for one year.

"This has put us in a tremendous financial bind, the building has gone negative in the bills," he told ABC 7 Chicago.

The news outlet shared that the prior year's tax bill for all 10 residences totaled $23,674. This year, the Markellos family owes $128,282, an increase of 440%.

Markellos said that he is outraged by the spike, and that he does not own a luxury complex but "simple one-bedroom units for college graduates who work downtown."

He indicated he would have to raise rent to $5,000 or $6,000 per unit to pay his bills. However, he also acknowledged that "no one in their right mind would pay that," so it is not a viable option.

An attorney representing Markellos and his mother is appealing to the Board of Review and the Cook County Assessor's office, the latter of which determines property values. 

Markellos indicated he might have to file bankruptcy if his tax bill is not adjusted. 

Credit: J.C. Bonassin/Getty Images

ABC 7 spoke to the Assessor's Office, who told their reporter that apartments were previously "unfairly classified as commercial properties. As of 2021, they are now considered, residential properties."

Allegedly, this reclassification led to the 440% tax bill increase.

This isn't the first time Cook County property taxes have been in the news lately. In October, residents faced a property tax nightmare as tax refund payments were delayed by months, and are just now being processed in December. 

The obvious problem here is that if property taxes are further delayed into 2023, or if there are issues with delivery, Chicagoland residents won't be allowed to write off their payments on their 2022 income taxes. 

Visit the official Cook County Assessor's Office website if you have questions.

Cook County, which includes Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, has a population of 5.17 million as of the 2020 United States census. The county is home to over 40% of all Illinois residents.

What do you think about the Markellos family's predicament?

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Feature Image Credit: Nisian Hughes/Getty Images

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