Late Property Tax Bills a Common Theme in Chicago

September 18, 2011

This Chicago real estate news will probably not bother most homeowners:

Cook County property tax bills, technically due about three weeks ago, aren’t going out for another three weeks or so.

It’s nothing new: The second installment of the 2010 tax bills are going to be sent out late for the 34th year in a row.

woman looking inside an empty mailbox

Don't bother looking for your Cook County property tax bill until October.

To give you an idea of how late: The fall property tax bills were supposed to be due August 1. The last time they were sent out on time was 1978.

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas estimates that the tax bills will be mailed out to its 1.7 million Cook County property owners the first week of October, though it’s still not for sure.

That means that the due date for the upcoming property tax bills has yet to be set. If the bills do, in fact, go out in early October, then their due date would be early November.

Over the past few years, the mail has gone out so late that the due date has been December 1.

But that poses a problem for school districts and other governmental taxing bodies that have debt payments due the same day and then have to borrow money to cover their expenses.

The property tax bills are reportedly always late because they require coordination between Pappas’ office, the Cook County Board of Review and the assessor’s office, all of whom play a role in getting the bills out to Cook County residents.

Even the first installments are sometimes delayed. Several months ago, the state legislature passed a law changing the first installment’s due date from March 1 to April 1 for this year only.

As a Chicago real estate owner, I personally don’t mind. I certainly didn’t have the money to cover the bill in August!

For more information on Cook County property taxes, visit

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