Bears Ownership Does Not Like Its New Arlington Heights Property Tax Bill

The Bears ownership plans to build a stadium-village in Arlington Heights.

The National Football League’s Chicago Bears ownership group now owns the 326-acre Arlington International Racecourse property in Arlington Heights, Illinois and the ownership already has a major problem. It feels the property’s assessment is too high. Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi reset the land value to $197 million which is a major increase from its previous tax value of roughly $33.5 million. Bears ownership has cried foul and wants a re-evaluation as soon as possible. Bears ownership paid $197.2 million for the property. Bears ownership filed an appeal to the three-member Cook County Board of Review, and put out a statement that the new assessment was “excessive.” As of right now, it would cost Bears ownership about $15 million a year in additional taxes compared to the previous valuation. Bears ownership put out a statement claiming it wants to be a good neighbor in the area but the property taxes are a bit too much.

“We want to pay our fair share. But the proposed assessment of the unoccupied property we purchased, and the taxes associated with it, would be more than five times what the property generated when it had an income-producing racetrack operating on it. Arlington Park would not be redeveloped by anyone at such an excessive property tax rate.” But Bears ownership plans to build a stadium-village on the parcel of land and if everything goes according to the Bears ownership plan, the property will be making money and Arlington Heights wants its fair share. Bears ownership is moving ahead in its attempt to develop the property as it has requested a permit to demolish the Arlington race track buildings. Bears ownership has a lease with the city of Chicago’s Soldier Field until 2033, but it could leave after 2026 by paying the city of Chicago $84 million to break the lease.

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Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) carries the balls as Chicago Bears cornerback Teez Tabor comes up for the tackle during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)