Cook County property owners are about to get an early gift this holiday season: their long-delayed property tax bills will be available online Tuesday — and due Dec. 30, officials said.
That means the second-installment of property owners’ 2021 tax bills will be more than 150 days late amid months of bureaucratic wrangling and finger pointing among Cook County officials. In a typical year, this bill is due Aug. 1.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said in a statement she was relieved the bills will go out, and be due, before the end of the year. Hard copies should arrive in mailboxes across the county no later than Dec. 1, officials said.
“I am grateful for the efforts of the separately elected officials to ensure tax bills are issued in 2022 to allow property owners to take full advantage of state and local tax deductions in their federal taxes,” Preckwinkle said.
Assessor Fritz Kaegi blamed the delay on the Cook County Board of Review for not helping upgrade the assessor’s computer system. But Board of Review Member Larry Rogers, Jr. said Kaegi was at fault for not using the old system as well as the new system to avoid delays.
For residents of Chicago, the bills will reflect the first reassessment of the city of Chicago under Kaegi, who won a second term in office on Nov. 8.
Kaegi unseated one of the most powerful politicians in Cook County in 2018 by vowing to overhaul the county’s unjust and error-ridden property tax assessment system to make it more equitable, transparent and free from political influence.
In May, Kaegi told WTTW News that the results of the Chicago reassessment could result in a consequential change in how Cook County’s property tax burden is carved up, with homeowners carrying less of the load.
But in a report released Monday, Kaegi’s office said the Cook County Board of Review shifted more of the city’s assessed value to homeowners. That means homeowners, not the owners of commercial properties, are bearing more of the tax burden this year than last year, according to the report.
That will likely mean Chicago homeowners will likely see the amount due on the property tax bills headed their way stay flat or rise slightly, according to the report from Kaegi’s office.