Oct 26, 2022 - News

Tax bill headaches hit Cook County

Photo of a man answering questions at a desk.

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi during a 2021 interview at his office. Photo: Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The second installment of the 2021 Cook County property taxes is expected to be delivered by Dec. 1, with a due date of Dec. 31.

Why it matters: Technical problems and internal squabbles delayed the second installment this year from August to December.

  • If property taxes are delayed into 2023, homeowners won't be able to write them off on their income tax.

Flashback: The Cook County Assessor's office reportedly modernized its technology this year, but the process slowed to a crawl after the Cook County Board of Review did not.

  • With the process completed, the Cook County Clerk and Treasurer's office should be able to send out bills.

The intrigue: This will be the first tax bill for Chicago residents based on Assessor Fritz Kaegi's new formula.

Zoom in: The Cook County Board President's Office says 49 taxing districts have applied for loans through the Cook County Bridge Fund program to cover costs until the tax money is collected.

  • For residents, the delay is skewing escrow accounts and savings plans and jeopardizing securing home loans.

What they're saying: "This impacts sellers buying new homes, because they have to put more funds into escrow for taxes until bills are released," mortgage broker David Hochberg tells Axios.

  • "People will have less funds to purchase new homes."

What we're watching: Some worry the delay will cascade into next year's first bill, which usually comes out in February. Could the county delay the tax bill again?

  • Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas said on the Steve Cochran Show last week that the bill will probably be pushed to April, which could cause a ripple effect through year-end.

What they're saying: "Taxpayers are encouraged to continue budgeting for anticipated taxes owed," a spokesperson for the Cook County Board President tells Axios.

  • "The president's office supports a coordinated communication strategy so that taxpayers understand the timing of tax bills as soon as the information is available."
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