CHICAGO — Local governments in Cook County, Ill., have raised property taxes nearly 50% during the last 10 years, mostly to keep pace with growing pension and employment benefits, and are moving along an “unsustainable” path that could eventually force some into bankruptcy, a Chicago-based public policy group warns in a new report.

Property tax collections by the county’s local governments rose to $11.69 billion in 2010 from $7.89 billion in 2000, according to the report released by the Heartland Institute, a fiscal analyst and free-market think tank, with the support of the Illinois Policy Institute.

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