Cook County likely to waive late fees on property tax payments
Cook County plans to waive late fees on property tax payments due in August and extend the deadline to pay the second installment of taxes to Oct. 1, officials said Wednesday.
"These are incredibly difficult times for our residents and this measure creates much-needed breathing room for Cook County property owners," Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said in an announcement of the plan.
"With residents and businesses facing so many challenges and difficulties because of the coronavirus, waiving late fees on property taxes is the right thing to do right now. This can keep residents in their homes and allow businesses much-needed time to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic."
The full county board will vote on an ordinance authorizing the plan May 21. Under the ordinance, interest penalties for late payments of the second installment of property taxes, which are normally due Aug. 3, would now be postponed until Oct. 1. Any payments made on or before Oct. 1 would be considered filed and paid on time by Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas.
Under state law, late property tax payments are charged 1.5% of the total property taxes owed per month, which is collected by the treasurer.
"In a time of financial hardship for county taxpayers, this decision provides relief to those most in need of it," County Assessor Fritz Kaegi said in the announcement.
The county treasurer collects more than $12 billion annually on behalf of more than 2,200 jurisdictions, including municipalities, school districts, park districts, libraries and other taxing districts.