Video: WTTW News Explains breaks down the Cook County property tax system.
Cook County property owners can now pay the first installment of their 2023 property taxes online, as bills head to their mailboxes, officials said.
For the first time since 2021, Cook County officials are sending out the bills on time, which means property owners must pay as scheduled, no later than March 1.
But the end of delays that began when the second installment of property owners’ 2021 tax bills were released more than 150 days late amid months of bureaucratic wrangling and finger pointing among Cook County officials comes with a price.
While the second installment of property tax bills is usually due Aug. 1, Cook County property owners didn’t get those bills until mid-October, and faced a Dec. 1 deadline to pay it.
That gives property owners 91 days between tax bill due dates, which is likely to tighten the financial pinch facing those who saw their bills soar in 2021 after Cook County officials reassessed all of Chicago, as required by state law.
Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle said in a statement she is focused on getting the tax bills back on time, through collaboration with other Cook County officials.
“This year, we are cautiously optimistic that the property tax system will be back on track, ensuring the system is more predictable for taxing districts providing vital services and for residents,” Preckwinkle said.
The delays began with the second installment of property tax bills in 2021, with Assessor Fritz Kaegi blaming the late bills 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.
Bills are available at cookcountytreasurer.com and should hit mailboxes this week.