About 1.8 million property tax bills were mailed to Chicago

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas (Cook County Treasurer, iStock)

The first installment of property tax bills is underway.

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas sent out 1.8 million bills for the 2021 tax year, according to CBS 2 Chicago.

Payments for the first installment, which equals 55% of the total tax for the previous year, are due on March 1. Exemptions that can reduce taxes on a property will be applied to the second installment.

About 13,000 homeowners have paid their bills online since they were posted Dec. 7 on the Treasurer’s website. There is no charge for paying online, but paying after the deadline will incur a late fee of 1.5% per month.

“If you’ve never paid your property taxes online, I invite you to do so. You will receive an electronic receipt which will be useful when preparing your tax return,” Pappas said in a press release, according to CBS.

Property taxes have been a point of attention lately in and around Chicago. Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s budget, passed in October, raised property taxes by $23 million for homeowners. The increase was based on the national inflation rate instead of a local rate which some economists say makes more sense. Nationally, prices are up 5.4%, more than the 4.5% in Chicago.

Commercial property owners have recently seen their assessments rise under the leadership of Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi. Kaegi said his predecessor Joe Berrios had a habit of undervaluing commercial properties, which increased the tax burden on owners. In 2018, residential properties made up 48% of the total land value in Chicago’s eight townships, and commercial properties made up the remaining 52%. Now, residential properties make up 37% of the total assessment value, with commercial properties making up the remaining 63%.

[CBS 2 Chicago] —Harrison Connery

Penny D. Jackson