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A plot of land in rural northern Illinois has the highest property tax bill in the United States outside of New York.

Assessed at $546 million, Exelon’s Byron Nuclear Generating Station was charged $36.5 million in property taxes in 2017. That’s a higher tab than all but 20 properties in the nation, all of which are in New York. The Byron plant’s bill put it at No. 21 on a list of the nation’s top 100 property tax bills, right ahead of Disneyland in Anaheim, California. The Willis Tower came in 28th ($31,742,883), ahead of Woodfield Mall (No. 64, $19,603,461) in Schaumburg and Chicago’s One Prudential Plaza (No. 77, $17,910,028) and Water Tower Place (No. 79, $17,677,503). The highest property tax bill in the U.S. was for Northport Power Station ($82,093,239) in Fort Salonga, New York. The data was compiled by Commercial Café, a division of property management software provider Yardi.

New - York - Assessments - List - Illinois

When New York’s sky-high assessments were removed from the list, Illinois’ property tax bills accounted for half of the top 30 highest bills.

“The highest-paying office buildings are all in Chicago,” Commercial Cafe spokeswoman Adel Dobriban. “Three of the five top taxed industrial properties are in Illinois.”

Property - Power - Plant - Output - Equals

In assessing commercial property like a power plant, output roughly equals assessed value. Newer power plants are given a higher assessment based on how long they’re expected to operate. Seventeen U.S. nuclear plants, however, were built in the same year or later than Byron. None but Byron’s have a property tax bill on Commercial Cafe’s Top 100 list.

This is because the local school district, Byron Community School District 226, brings its own assessor to evaluate the plant’s value and the district’s subsequent cut of the taxes.

Exelon - Property - Tax - Assessments - Byron

“Exelon has been litigating the property tax assessments for Byron Station since the 2012 assessment, and anticipates receiving a ruling from...
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