Schaumburg officials rethinking plan to mail $150 checks to every owner-occupied household
As the estimated number of recipients increases, Schaumburg officials are rethinking their plan to issue $150 rebate checks to every owner-occupied household in the village.
They'll likely go with gift cards of the same value instead.
After weighing the pros and cons of both options, Schaumburg's staff and elected officials found themselves persuaded by their Elk Grove Village counterparts who endorsed a vendor that issued $200 gift cards to all 14,000 households in their town last year.
"We concluded that the best way would be through a gift card," Schaumburg Finance Director Lisa Petersen told her own village board Tuesday. "It's not a credit card, it cannot be reloaded and it expires after 12 months."
She added that if formally approved by trustees next Tuesday, the cards likely would be mailed before the end of March. They would be $150 debit cards that could be used wherever Visa is accepted.
Labor, overhead costs and security issues were among the factors that were weighed as the staff considered its own recommendation between the two payment options.
In regard to the security factor, no exact mailing date will be announced.
The recipient names and payment amounts on a check can be washed and replaced by fraudsters, Petersen cautioned.
Just as she received confidence about the use of gift cards from a member of Elk Grove Village staff, so, too, did Schaumburg Mayor Tom Dailly receive similar assurance from Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson.
"He has convinced me that issuing cards would be a better way," Dailly told Schaumburg trustees.
Back in December, the estimated number of eligible households under the Cook County homeowner exemption was 18,500, translating to a $2.8 million cost for the village. As of Tuesday, the estimated number had risen to 19,500 for an estimated cost of $2.9 million.
Dailly suggested the rebate in December as a way of helping homeowners cope with the especially high inflation of the past year.
Neither renters nor their landlords are eligible for the rebate. Every homeowner will receive the same amount.