Delayed Cook County Property Tax Payments Result in Delayed Distributions

3D house on pile of money with tax and financial forms on the desk.

Delayed Cook County Property Tax Payments Result in Delayed Distributions

Aug 25, 2020

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Written by Scott L. Ginsburg and Peter W. Kordas

While technically due on August 3, 2020, Cook County taxpayers have until October 1, 2020 to pay their tax bill before late interest starts to accrue. At the beginning of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Cook County, like many others, imposed this extension to support taxpayers who have been struggling financially during the economic downturn. The County thus gave homeowners a few extra months to make their second installment payment.  However, as an unforeseen consequence commercial property owners are taking advantage of the late fee waiver and strategically delaying their property tax payments. This delay in payments means that the taxing districts that rely on those funds could see a delayed tax distribution.

According to Crain’s Chicago Business, almost $2 billion of the $7.5 billion billed for the second installment had yet to be paid by the August 3rd due date. Further, Crain’s reported that some of the largest taxpayers in the county have yet to pay, including several suburban shopping centers. This delay in payment could be the result of hardships related to COVID-19, or these commercial property owners could be using the delay as a financial management tactic. Crain’s spoke to several commercial property owners and they intend to pay their property tax bills before late interest starts to accrue.

This delay in late interest may change the timing of taxing district property tax distributions. According to Cook County Treasurer’s Legal Department, the funds that normally come in at the beginning of August will now be spread out through October. The Cook County Treasurer’s Office has informed us that it intends to distribute property tax payments to taxing districts on a monthly basis, and even on a weekly basis during heavy collection periods.

If you have questions about any property tax distribution or collection issues, please contact your Robbins, Schwartz attorney