Why 7,600 property owners in suburban Cook County are getting tax refunds
More than 7,600 suburban Cook County property owners are in line for property tax refunds.
County Treasurer Maria Pappas said the refunds started showing up in property owners' bank accounts Monday.
The refunds are due to property owners whose first installment payments exceeded what they owed in the second installment due Aug. 1. This is largely a result of new homeowner and senior exemptions being applied to tax bills or because of successful assessment appeals, officials in Pappas' office said.
All told, almost 25,000 property owners countywide will be refunded a collective $24.6 million. Nearly $12 million of that will go to 7,667 suburban property owners, who will see an average refund of $1,559.
Property owners can see the status of their tax bills by checking Pappas' website cookcountytreasurer.com and selecting "Your Property Overview" in the purple box. Cook County exemption values increased by $3,000 in 2018, which contributed to the volume of refunds since property taxes are billed a year in arrears. The website also includes instructions on how to apply for the exemptions.
Almost 90% of the refunds will be distributed to the affected property owners without any application, Pappas said. The refunds will be credited back to bank accounts of property owners who paid online or by check, and should show up in those accounts by July 26.
Property owners who pay property taxes through a mortgage escrow account will be mailed checks that should arrive by Aug. 23.
Roughly 3,400 property owners who paid their taxes in cash will be sent refund applications by July 26, which they will need to fill out and send back to the treasurer's office.
"The point for us to do all this with the announcement is that when someone gets their bill and they see a zero amount owed, they don't believe it, because no one believes they don't owe anything. We want to make sure people understand this so our office doesn't get flooded with all 25,000 people calling us asking about their bills," Pappas said.
Data from Pappas' office revealed that Barrington and Barrington Hills property owners are due for some of the largest refunds on average. In Barrington, 10 properties average a refund of $14,079. In Barrington Hills, the average refund for seven property owners is $13,649.
Palatine property owners will see the largest combined refund outside the city of Chicago with 121 property owners getting a share of $589,907 in refunds. That amounts to an average refund of $4,875.
There are 230 refunds for Des Plaines property owners, 144 in Schaumburg, 121 in Arlington Heights, 101 in Mount Prospect, 84 in Elk Grove Village and 83 in Wheeling, according to the data from the treasurer's office.