Cook County property tax bills may be delayed by inter-office controversy

CHICAGO (WLS) — Your upcoming Cook dinner County property tax payments will possible not get to you by August 1.

There’s controversy between three Cook dinner County workplaces; a battle over your property tax invoice and a few questionable senior exemptions. That battle, together with COVID-19 will possible trigger property tax invoice delays.

“I believe the general public actually does not prefer to see individuals bickering, they need to see issues mounted,” mentioned Cook dinner County Assessor Fritz Kaegi. “If we actually leaned into this, we discovered tons of of cheaters. We’ll proceed to catch extra.”

There’s a rising controversy and a Chicago Solar Instances report in regards to the Senior Citizen Evaluation Freeze Exemption and whether or not his workplace gave some seniors a tax break who might not have certified.

A letter obtained by the ABC 7 I-Team from Cook dinner County Clerk Karen Yarbrough and Treasurer Maria Pappas requested Kaegi Tuesday to signal a doc asserting that his workplace reviewed and corrected all 2020 installment knowledge underneath penalty of legislation. If he does not, they will not transfer ahead issuing property tax payments to satisfy the August 1 deadline.

Kaegi mentioned he is not signing it, and that it’s obligatory for them to get the payments out.

The (Cook County) State’s Attorney sent out an opinion later today saying that, Clerk and Treasurer, it’s a must to do your jobs and calculate the charges and ship out payments so we take into account the matter having been resolved and it is as much as them to execute their duties,” Kaegi mentioned.

He additionally mentioned his workplace finds individuals benefiting from the senior exemption by trying to find recipients who wouldn’t have an annual family revenue of $65,000 or much less, as required.

“We have recovered about $11 million for taxing our bodies that had been inappropriately claimed, And we’re all continuously doing audits, we audited 40,000 exemptions for seniors final 12 months, however we additionally need to be sure that people who find themselves getting the senior exemption, haven’t got it taken away from them,” mentioned Kaegi.

The financial savings on questionable senior freeze exemptions may fall on all different county property homeowners.

“Effectively, if persons are defrauding the system, it does have an effect on others and that is why we’ve got the investigations for people who find themselves inappropriately getting them,” says Kaegi.

The Assessor added that earlier than this controversy, his workplace was dealing with delays resulting from COVID-19, which had been already anticipated maintain up the method of getting payments out on time.

Pappas gave the I-Crew an announcement saying she is going to ship out the tax payments as soon as she receives them from Yarbrough. Yarbrough didn’t reply to calls and emails by the I-Crew. Pappas added that she believes “that the Assessor has an moral accountability to right any knowledge errors referring to Senior Freeze exemptions.”

Cook dinner County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s workplace instructed the I-Crew completely it can introduce an modification on the subsequent board assembly, which might formally delay property tax due date to October 1. Now, it is as much as the Treasurer’s Workplace and Clerk’s Workplace to get the payments out. If not, there may very well be additional delays.

Treasurer Maria Pappas’ 7/14/21 assertion

The Cook dinner County Clerk’s Workplace introduced at present that it has begun to calculate the property tax charges. I’m prepared, prepared and in a position to print the tax payments as quickly as I obtain the mandatory file from the Clerk.

I anticipate the payments will exit subsequent month, with a due date of Oct. 1 – which was already the final day to pay with out penalty, pursuant to a Cook dinner County ordinance handed within the fall of 2020.

Earlier than the payments are printed, as at all times, I’ll submit the tax payments to

I nonetheless imagine that the Assessor has an moral accountability to right any knowledge errors referring to Senior Freeze exemptions. I’ve made my place clear.

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Huynh Nguyen

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