Owners of historic Palatine garden center blame change in property tax status for closure


A third-generation family business in Palatine is now vacant after its owners say a change in the way they are assessed for property taxes has bankrupted them.

“We were meant to be here, I thought forever,” Ken Kinsch, former owner of Kinsch Florist and Garden Center, told ABC 7.

The rubble is what remains of the suburban greenhouse and flower farm after more than 80 years of operation. The company at 301 W. Johnson St. was opened in 1938 by brothers Ed and Leo Kinsch. The current generation of owners, including Ken Kinsch, can now only look around in disbelief.

“It’s very sad. It’s still what was meant to be in my family what your family is and we loved doing it. You know, I love people, my dad loved doing it with my family. ‘was a family tradition, “he said. noted. “We were the flower makers.”

They grew these flowers until recently. Their Cook County property tax bill in 2019 rose from just under $ 25,000 to $ 183,000, an increase of 640%. In 2020, they received another bill for $ 151,000.

After those big bills, the family decided they had to stop and close, hoping that if the land was found to be vacant it would eventually reduce the tax bills. Now five acres are empty and overgrown with weeds.

If they are classified as vacant, future tax bills could go down. But what is happening with these current invoices? The increase was due to the fact that the Cook County assessor changed all land from “farm” to “commercial”. Previously, only their small retail store was designated “commercial”.

• Read more about the ABC 7 Chicago story.

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