Cook County property taxes are due this week; late payers will now be assessed a penalty fee

Cook County property taxes

Property taxes for the first installment of the 2023 tax year are due on Friday, March 1, as Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas reminded citizens today.

Early in December, the Treasurer’s Office posted almost 1.8 million bills online at cookcountytreasurer.com. In late January, the office mailed printed bills to taxpayers.

Property owners are urged by Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas to pay their First Installment tax bills by the deadline of Friday, March 1.

“If you don’t pay your taxes by the due date you end up paying more because of the interest penalty,” said Pappas. “This tax bill is the first that shows how we were able to cut the interest rate in half. However, paying your taxes on time is the best course of action.

Those who are unable to pay the entire amount may make partial payments to the Treasurer’s Office. As mandated by state law, any outstanding balance after March 1st will be charged 0.75% per month. Pappas’s historic reforms, which lowered the interest rate penalty from 1.5% to 0.75 per month or from 18% to 9% annually, were approved by Illinois lawmakers in 2023.

Go to cookcountytreasurer.com to pay or download a copy of your tax bill. 

  • Click the blue “Pay Online for Free” box.
  • Enter your Property Index Number or search by property address.
  • You’ll need to know your bank’s routing number and account number, so proceed as instructed.

Utilizing the website, you can also:

  • Search for available refunds totaling $93 million;
  • Verify whether you are losing out on tax exemptions totaling $57 million, as doing so can reduce your tax liability;
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The interest rate penalty for individuals who fail to pay their taxes by the deadline of March 1st will decrease from 18% annually to 9% annually. The interest rate assessed on overdue taxes will decrease to 0.75 percent per month from 1.5%.

“At a time when banks, credit card companies, mortgage lenders, and others continue to charge relatively high interest rates, these interest rate cuts will help homeowners,” 

Pappas stated. “Those who make partial payments on late taxes to spread out the burden and those who are unable to pay their property taxes in full by the due date will benefit from these lower interest rates.”

For every $1,000 in overdue taxes, property owners will save $90 annually due to the reduced rates. The interest rate reduction, according to Treasurer’s Office researchers, will save Cook County property owners between $25 and $35 million annually. It is anticipated that more homeowners will be able to pay off past-due bills and avoid the annual tax sale thanks to the lower rates.

Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the historic reforms into law in August 2023 after Illinois lawmakers approved them in May 2023. The Chicago Community Trust, a charitable organization, and other partners collaborated with the Treasurer’s Office to advance the reforms.

Following the release of research by her office in 2022, Pappas advocated for legislative reforms. Scholars have documented the ways in which redlining and other practices denied families the chance to accumulate wealth over several generations. Research findings also indicated that the impact of property tax system inequality has been more pronounced in neighborhoods with higher concentrations of Black and Latino households.

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