Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County was created on January 15, 1831 and named after Daniel P. Cook, Member of Congress and the first Attorney from the State of Illinois.
   
     
     
     



Property tax delay will be costly

Monday, September 27, 2004
Special to suffredin.org
by Greg Hinz

Cook County property owners won't have to pay their second-half tax bills until at least mid-November — the latest date since bills were intentionally delayed a year during the Great Depression.
Interviews with officials in the offices of the county clerk, treasurer and assessor indicate that the new bills are likely to hit the mail the second week of October, with payment due a month later. That means that cash-strapped local governments, which by law were supposed to receive more than $4 billion in tax payments by about Aug. 1, will have to borrow to cover cash-flow needs, with taxpayers paying the interest cost.

Officials blame the delay mostly on soaring land values in Chicago, which was reassessed last year. Those hikes sparked a record number of property tax assessment appeals — more than 200,000 in Cook County — that had to be heard by the assessor and county board of review.
But one watchdog says the delay underlines the need for major changes in the creaky property tax system.

"We need reform," says Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, a tax policy group. "This demonstrates the complexity of the Cook County property tax system, and points to the lack of confidence" by aggrieved land owners.

As of late last week, county Clerk David Orr's office was finalizing the tax rates for each taxing district. Mr. Orr's office hopes to finish "early in October," according to his spokesman, and to send the results to county Treasurer Maria Pappas, whose office mails out individual bills. Her spokesman says printing and mailing will take an additional six to 10 days, with property owners by law not required to pay until 30 days after the bill is postmarked. That would be around Nov. 10 to 15 — assuming no last-minute glitch.

Placing blame

In comparison, bills last year were sent out early enough that the county could enforce an Oct. 1 payment date. In recent years, the payment date has ranged between Sept. 11 (1996) and Nov. 3 (1995). Under state laws first adopted decades ago, second-half tax bills are supposed to be paid by Aug. 1.

Who's to blame? Treasurer Pappas' spokesman says she can't mail the bills until getting the levies from Clerk Orr. Mr. Orr's spokesman says he had to wait on appeal rulings from the board of review. Thomas Jaconetty, the board's chief deputy commissioner, says the number of appeals it handled increased by a third in just three years, and says Assessor James Houlihan's office completed its work late. Mr. Houlihan's spokeswoman says his office reconsidered a record number of cases at taxpayers' request and, while it finished eight days later than in 2000, it was five days ahead of the 1997 schedule.

Whatever the reason, the delay is costly to government units that count on the property tax revenues.

Schools big loser

Chicago Public Schools is losing $1 million a month on interest on the roughly $800 million it's owed, and is "close" to having to borrow to bridge the shortfall, at another $2 million a month, says schools Budget Director Pedro Martinez.

Things are even worse for smaller governments, says Donna Baiocchi, executive director of Ed-Red, a consortium of more than 75 suburban school districts. "This is causing significant cash-flow problems."

County officials predict things will improve next year, when the city of Chicago is not up for triennial reassessment. But given how many appeals there are nowadays, the Legislature "maybe ought to revisit" the Aug. 1 target date, says Mr. Jaconetty. "The early date in the statute hasn't been met in decades."




Recent Headlines

Cook County forest preserve picnic, camping permits for 2020 season to go on sale Nov. 15
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago’s public defender plans to ask Illinois Supreme Court to reverse decision that permits holding preteens in custody despite county ordinance
Monday, November 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Clerk Yarbrough touts ‘method to her madness,’ says hiring criticism ‘is purely personal’
Saturday, November 09, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Nonprofit hospitals forced to defend hundreds of millions in property tax breaks
Friday, November 08, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Land Bank must serve neighborhoods, not City Hall insiders
Friday, November 08, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

After judge’s dismissal, Skokie appeals federal lawsuit over Evanston water rates
Friday, November 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune

2 teens in DCFS care were shackled and handcuffed during drive from a youth shelter: ‘Totally unacceptable,’ agency says
Friday, November 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune

The lifelong damage we do in Cook County when we jail kids as young as 10
Thursday, November 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Unfair assessments lawsuit dismissed after assessor makes changes — full reform called a ‘years-long process’
Thursday, November 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Editorial: Watch out, Cook County land bank. The public could foreclose — on you.
Thursday, November 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Niles raises property tax about $21 per average household
Wednesday, November 06, 2019
Pioneer Press

Nov. 15 is Opening Day for Forest Preserves of Cook County Picnic and Special Event Permit Sales, 2020 Camping Reservations
Wednesday, November 06, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

$8M grant program aims to expand Cook County animal shelter space
Tuesday, November 05, 2019
ABC EyeWitness News

Even as Illinois court permits detaining pre-teens, across U.S. fewer youth being held
Monday, November 04, 2019
Injustice Watch

Cook County OK’d insider deal for Ald. Carrie Austin’s top aide
Monday, November 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A progressive measure intended to keep preteens out of Cook County jails was effectively struck down by an appellate court
Monday, November 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health CEO Calls on Other Hospitals to Increase Charity Care
Friday, November 01, 2019
WTTW News

Labrador retriever sworn in at Cook County state’s attorney’s office. Yes, really.
Thursday, October 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County sheriff wants chief judge to take over electronic monitoring of suspects, citing the records of those released
Thursday, October 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Illinois appellate court rejects ordinance banning detention of 10-12 year olds
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Injustice Watch

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP