Cook County property taxes are due April 3. Here’s what to know. – Chicago Tribune newstrendslive

Cook County property tax bills are starting to hit mailboxes, with taxpayers getting an extra month to pay their first installments this year.

The first installment — 55% of a property owner’s total tax bill from the previous year’s assessment — for tax year 2022 are due before 11:59 p.m. April 3.

State lawmakers extended the due date from March 1 because second installment bills were delayed last year, with Cook County residents receiving them four months late and bills coming due Dec. 30 instead of Aug. 1.

Many taxpayers experienced sticker shock after receiving their bills last year, as new assessments that took place in 2021 hit Chicago residents’ bills in 2022. The suburbs saw similar hikes following the 2020 and 2019 assessment cycles.

Cook County properties are reassessed on a triennial basis, meaning that one-third of the county is reassessed each year. New property values are not reflected until the second installment of annual property tax bills the year after the reassessment.

This year’s first round of bills were mailed March 1 and are available online at The Cook County treasurer’s office website can be translated into dozens of languages beyond English.

Here’s what to know about the latest bills.

In 2021, Chicago was reassessed, leading to a 4% increase in the county’s 2022 property tax bill, with the bill totaling $16.7 billion. Tax bills for more than 406,000 residential properties increased, while nearly 318,000 went down.

There are various reasons a property tax bill can increase, such as home values going up in a community due to development. Local governments can also increase their tax levies to help pay for operations or to make up for property tax refunds they issue because of overassessment errors.

Last year’s bills also reflected a reversal of the COVID-19 adjustment Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi applied to 2020 property values, which led to lower property tax bills in 2021 but an even bigger jump in 2022 bills after properties in Chicago were reassessed.

Many quickly-gentrifying Latino communities on the North and Northwest sides saw the largest increases, while many Black neighborhoods on the South and West sides saw big drops in their bills.

Many property owners in the north and northwest suburbs can expect similar tax hikes this year from the reversal of the COVID-19 adjustment, with bills in the south and southwest suburbs likely to follow the same pattern next year.

Cook County residents can pay their property taxes in five ways. Payments can be made online at, at any Chase Bank in Illinois, at more than 100 community banks if the taxpayer is an account holder, by mail or at the treasurer’s office at 118 N. Clark St., Room 112, Chicago.

Unfortunately, most residents have missed the window to knock down their assessment in the hopes of lowering their most recent bill.

If residents failed to receive an exemption they deserved — like for homeowners or seniors — they can bring that up to the Cook County Assessor’s Office and immediately obtain a corrected bill.

There will be an opportunity to appeal 2023 assessments later this year with the Assessor’s Office. If residents believe there has been an error made in their property tax assessment, they can appeal online at Property owners typically have 30 days after their assessment to file an appeal.

Appeals for 2022 assessments can still be filed at the Cook County Board of Review for certain townships. If the Board finds in a property owner’s favor, that reduction wouldn’t apply until this summer’s upcoming bills. The Board can be reached at 312-603-5542 or appeal forms can be found at

Illinois residents are charged a monthly interest rate of 1.5% if their property tax bill is not paid on time, as dictated by state law. Partial payments on property tax bills are accepted before and after the due date. If payments are not made within 13 months after they are due, the delinquent taxes will be sold at the annual tax sale.

The last tax sale was November 2022, and the next tax sale will be in February 2024. Delinquent taxes can be sold to private investors, or municipalities hold on to them if no one buys them at the sale. More than 110,000 Cook County residential and commercial property owners are behind on their taxes, a number that will drop as people make payments before the next sale season, according to the treasurer’s office.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration allocated $309 million of American Rescue Plan federal funding to the Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund to help homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments and related expenses including property taxes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Homeowners can apply through the Illinois Housing Development Authority for up to $60,000 of assistance at As of January, more than $73 million had been disbursed, and applications will be accepted until the funds are exhausted or by Sept. 30, 2026, the deadline given by the federal government.

The state also offers the Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Program, which allows low-income seniors to take a loan of up to $7,500 from the state to delay their property tax payments. The deadline to apply for this year was March 1.

Starting in 2021, local nonprofit Sunshine Gospel Ministries in Woodlawn began using a portion of its charitable donations to help residents with overdue property tax bills pay them off before the next county tax sale.

Various local nonprofits also offer counseling related to property tax appeals and payments, including Sunshine Gospel Ministries, Spanish Coalition for Housing, Chicago Urban League and Neighborhood Housing Services Chicago.

Cook County residents can take advantage of exemptions to lower their property tax bills. The most common exemption is the homeowner exemption, which applies to anyone who owns their home and uses it as their primary residence.

There are also exemptions available for seniors, veterans and disabled people. Exemption deductions only appear on second installment bills and can be applied to up to four years of prior property tax payments. To learn more about exemptions, visit Property owners can apply online or by downloading a form to mail in.

The Cook County treasurer’s office launched the Black and Latino Houses Matter initiative in March 2020 to help reach — through phone banks and radio shows — households that have been incorrectly billed.

On the legislative front, state Sen. Ram Villivalam, D-Chicago, introduced two bills related to the state’s delinquent property tax system Feb. 10. Senate Bill 2020 aims to reform the system for selling delinquent property taxes, which allows private investors such as hedge funds to pay the back taxes on a property and force the owner to repay the amount with interest if they want to keep their homes.

The other proposal, Senate Bill 2395, aims to help residents who are behind on their property taxes by cutting interest rates on the payments from 1.5% to 0.75% per month starting this year. Both bills were crafted by the Cook County treasurer’s office.

State Sen. Celina Villanueva, D-Chicago, and state Rep. Nicholas Smith, D-Chicago, introduced companion bills — SB 2378 and HB 3040 — in the Senate and House, respectively, related to the state’s delinquent property tax system around the same time as Villivalam introduced his bills.

Crafted by the foundation Chicago Community Trust and national nonprofit Center for Community Progress, the bills aim to reform the process for redeveloping properties that are chronically delinquent on their tax bills by giving local governments greater flexibility to take control of the properties.

State Rep. Debbie Meyers-Martin, a Democrat from the south suburbs, is also hoping to reform the property tax system with House Bill 1238. The bill, introduced last month, would create payment plans for people behind on their taxes, instead of making property owners pay in full to prevent the sale of their back taxes.

Chicago Tribune’s A.D. Quig contributed.

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