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You'll likely get your property tax bill this year—but only barely
Odds are growing that the due date on $16 billion in Cook County property tax bills will be Dec. 31. The next round of bills will likely be due just two months later.

Monday, September 26, 2022
Crain's Chicago Business
by Greg Hinz

Cook County residents may have something to do this New Year's Eve beyond toast the new annum. Chances are growing that at least some of them will be scrambling then to meet the deadline for paying their second-half property tax bills.

County officials have been scrambling for months to fix a tax system that has hit some serious bumps, with the Board of Review, Cook County Assessor's Office and others pointing fingers in different directions as to what went wrong.

 

Meanwhile, the clock has been ticking on sending out more than $16 billion in second-half bills—which normally would have been due on Aug. 1.

The latest is that, barring an unforeseen problem, the bills will go out in time for payment this year, thereby sparing property owners problems with getting their normal deductions on federal and state income tax returns. But it'll be a close call.

 

 

According to Scott Smith, a spokesman for Assessor Fritz Kaegi, the bills likely will go out right around Thanksgiving, and be due by Dec. 31. "That's what the county has been telling us," said Smith, referring further calls to Nick Shields, spokesman for county Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Shields said the bills could be that late, but it's more likely they'll be due "sometime between late November and early December."

Other county insiders are privately betting on or about Dec. 31.

Final appeals of Kaegi's assessments are still being heard by the Board of Review and will take another two or three weeks to complete, I'm told. They then will go back to Kaegi for review and exemptions, to the state to determine the annual multiplier, to county Clerk Karen Yarbrough for final extensions and to county Treasurer Maria Pappas to actually send out the bills.

All of that will take at least another month after the board is done, and possibly more. So taxpayers still will have some time to save their pennies—and for taxing bodies to draw down their reserves or live on borrowed money. Owners will have a minimum of 30 days to pay up once the bill is received.

At the moment, the first-half bills for next year still will be due March 1, potentially just two months after this year's bills.

So don't blow everything on Christmas gifts.

UPDATE: Preckwinkle's office is out with a statement: "We are working with all the independently elected offices in the property tax system to ensure the tax bills are sent and collected as soon as possible. All the offices in the process play an important role and are interdependent. As each step in the process is completed, we will better understand the bill’s mail date and, subsequently, the due date. The president’s office has supported and will continue to support the property tax group with requested resources so they can fulfill their duties to Cook County residents. We remain confident that their commitment to a due date of 2022 will be realized."

 



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