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Cook County Board to Consider Sixty Day Break on August Tax Bill

Coronavirus K-12 Education

Yesterday Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced that the County Board of Commissioners will be considering an ordinance at their May 21st meeting to waive penalty interest for 60 days following the August 2nd due date for the second installment of 2019 taxes.  Should this ordinance be approved, Cook County will join several counties statewide in delaying the effective date that property taxes are due in an effort to provide taxpayers with relief in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19).  Under the proposed ordinance, any payment made by October 1st will be considered timely and will not be subject to the statutory penalty interest amount of 1.5% per month.  We addressed how other Illinois counties are delaying payment dates or deferring interest in a recent alert.

In late April, the DuPage County Board approved an ordinance requiring that taxpayers satisfy certain requirements for demonstrated hardship and apply to the County Treasurer to receive a 90-day interest deferral on the June first installment payment.  President Preckwinkle’s announcement does not identify any eligibility requirements for the waiver of financial penalties for payments made before October 1.  Keep in mind that in Cook County approximately 45% of the 1.75 million parcels have taxes paid through a tax escrow.  What this measure means for the timeliness of this subgroup of parcels is unknown.  You can read the County’s statement here.

We will provide a more thorough analysis of the ordinance following the County Board meeting next week assuming it is approved.  As we have done throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to monitor changes as they affect Illinois school districts and the property tax assessment, appeal, and collection process and bring you more information as it becomes available. For more information on this topic contact the authors of this alert or any other Franczek attorney.