A significant percentage of the Village's revenue is in the form of taxes including:

Property Tax

The Village finances between 17% and 27% of its operations through property taxes and is continually striving to diversify its revenue base in order to reduce reliance on the property tax. The Village's portion of the property tax reflects 11% of the total tax bill.

Taxing Agency Percentage of Tax Bill
School Districts 74%
Village of River Forest 11%
Cook County 5%
Park District 3%
Water Reclamation 3%
Public Library 2%
Township 1%
All Other Taxing Bodies 1%
Total 100%

Sales Tax

Sales tax for general merchandise in River Forest is 10.00% (the sales tax for Food and Drugs is 2.25%). The sales tax is comprised of four separate taxing authorities as noted below:

Taxing Authority
Portion of Sales Tax
State of Illinois
Cook County
Regional Transportation Authority (RTA)
Village of River Forest 

Real Estate Transfer Tax 

When a real estate property is sold in River Forest, a tax equal to $1.00 for every $1,000 (or fraction thereof) of consideration must be paid. This is the responsibility of the property seller.


Amount sold for
Divide by 1,000
Multiply by $1.00
Final amount owed
$410,750/ 1,000 = 411
411 x $1.00= $411

The following steps must be taken to receive transfer stamps:

  • Complete transfer tax form and bring in person to the Village Hall (400 Park Avenue).  Staff requests a five (5) day notice, whenever practicable, and forms received after 2 p.m. will be processed the next business day.  
  • Upon receipt of a transfer tax form, a zoning inspection will be scheduled for the next available Wednesday or Friday morning. Final water meter reads will be taken when necessary during this inspection.  
  • Transfer stamps shall not be issued unless all water, sewer, refuse assessments, judgments from the Ordinance Enforcement Department, liens, encumbrances, and other debts due to the Village are paid in full for the property.
  • When all debts and the final water bill have been paid, pick up the transfer stamp and zoning certificate. (Stamps must be taken to the closing and filed with Cook County.)

Places for Eating Tax

The Places for Eating tax is levied on the gross receipts received for prepared food sold at retail. The amount of the tax is 1% and is placed on the owners of places for eating, who can pass the tax along to consumers.

"Places for Eating" is defined as a place where prepared food is sold at retail for immediate consumption with seating provided on the premises, including any outdoor seating on the premises, whether the food is consumed on the premises or not. 

  • Registration Form
  • Tax Return Form- For your convenience, save the Excel file on your computer. You may then enter the receipt amounts and the spreadsheet will calculate the return amount.

Utility Tax

The utility tax includes the following:

  • Simplified Telecommunications Tax- 6%
  • Natural Gas Tax- 5% of amount billed
  • Electric Use Tax- Varied based on kilowatt hours

Income Tax

A portion of the State of Illinois income tax is distributed to municipalities on a per capita basis.