Which Chicago buildings command the highest taxes?

byron nuclear
Exelon - Byron Nuclear Generating Station paid the highest taxes in the nation in 2016, outside of Manhattan office towers.

Which Chicago buildings pay the highest taxes? Commercialcafe.com has compiled a list of the top 100 taxpaying buildings in the nation, and the results indicate that Willis Tower has the highest rank locally — but none of the Chicago sites compete with several large (and extremely expensive) buildings in New York City.

28 Willis Tower/ Former Sears Tower Office Chicago IL 1973 $28,453,830
55 300 East Randolph Office Chicago IL 1997 $19,074,574
74 Water Tower Place Retail Chicago IL 1976 $16,451,972
75 Aon Center Office Chicago IL 1972 $16,424,059

However, two Illinois industrial properties really are nailed.  In fact, the Byron Nuclear Generating Station paid the highest tax of any building outside of Manhattan in 2016.

13 Exelon – Byron Nuclear Generating Station Industrial Byron IL 1985 $36,576,768
26 ExxonMobil Joliet Refinery Industrial Channahon IL 1986 $29,294,513

Commercialcafe.com adds these additional insights:

  • The iconic Willis Tower is the state’s third most expensive asset in terms of tax value and the nation’s second top taxpaying office building; the owner, Blackstone paid a little more than $28 million in taxes alone in 2016, 152 per cent less than the GM Building in NYC;
  • The top taxpaying building outside of NYC is Byron, IL’s Exelon Nuclear Generating Station which paid $36 million last year in taxes;
  • The two buildings with the highest taxes in the state are the Exelon Nuclear Station in Byron and ExxonMobil’s Joliet Refinery;
  • Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago, the seventh-tallest building in the world, includes 486 privately-owned condominiums which made it impossible to calculate the exact amount of property taxes the building generated;
  • Office properties collect the highest taxes; of the 100 total properties in the round-up, 74 were office buildings, 10 were hotels, 7 retail, 4 residential, 3 mixed-use and 2 industrial; and
  • Unexpectedly, several national landmark buildings were not present on the list; city or government-owned buildings as well as historic landmark buildings like: One World Trade Center, Woolworth Building and the Chrysler Building are tax exempt.

You can view the complete list here:


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