Chicago Real Estate Statistics: Probability and Property Taxes

I have personally never appealed my property taxes although after writing this article I intend to give it a try at my next opportunity. You've got really good odds of saving a chunk of change. The average Cook County appeal lowers property taxes by about $395. But there's so few people taking advantage of it! I know - it sounds like an annoying and scary thing to do with lots of red tape. That's why I haven't appealed either.  I will hopefully remember to write up my experiences as I do so. If you've ever done it yourself please let me know in the comments about how it went for you!

In the meantime, it's Friday, which means it's stats day here at StrawStickStone. I'm a big fan of Harper's Index so here's a little Harper's style breakdown for you to ponder.

Property Tax Appeals

  • Chances of a successful individual property tax appeal, 2007-2010: 75%
  • Approximate percentage of Cook County homeowners who appealed: 5%

Illinois Lottery Scratch Tickets

  • Percentage of players who break even on a $2 ticket... 22.6%
  • Percentage of Americans who think scratch tickets are a practical way to get rich.... 21%

College Admissions

  • Percentage of applicants who get into their first choice college... 70%
  • Percentage of Americans 18-24 attending something other than their first choice of college... 12.39%


  • Percentage of Americans who CDC anticipated would have the flu in the 2010-11 season... 12.5%
  • Percentage of Americans who were intending to get the flu vaccine in 2010... 57%


  • Percentage of all Poker hands that are Two Pair or Better... 7.62%
  • Percentage of Americans who played online poker for money in 2009... 2.6% (or 10.1 million)


  • Percentage of packages lost by UPS... 0.8%
  • Percentage of Americans who pay to use UPS in a work week... 14.14%


  • Current price markup for Chicago gas vs. Hammond, IN gas... 17.84%
  • Chicagoans who would drive the 10 miles from the Chicago border to Hammond, IN to buy cheaper gas... 53%


Property Tax Data calculated from Cook County Board of Review and City Data.
College Admissions calculated from and the Us Dept of Education.
Lottery data from Illinois Lottery and Business Insider.
Flu data from WebMD and BusinessWeek.
Poker data from Wikipedia and the Poker Players Alliance.
UPS data calculated from Amazon Askville and
Gas Prices from
Chicagoans making the drive calculated using the most excellent study "How Far for a Buck? Tax Differences and the Location of Retail Gasoline Activity in Southeast Chicagoland" by Mark Manuszak an Charles C. Moul, from the November 2009 edition of the Review of Economics and Statistics.