The first property tax bill for 2009 taxes paid in 2010 will be arriving this week in Oak Park and River Forest mailboxes.

The first installment will be higher than last year’s first installment, with the county now making the first bill the 55 percent of the previous year’s bill, instead of 50 percent.

But Township Assessor Ali ElSaffar said in a press release last week that the shift in the formula won’t change the overall level that property owners are taxed.

The percentage was upped to 55 because in previous years, the second installments have been arriving late, causing hardships for local taxing bodies. With more being collected through the first bill, it’s less of a hit if the second bills are delayed, ElSaffar said.

The change also makes the first and second installments more equal to each other in amounts, whereas in the past the second was always much bigger, according to ElSaffar.

The tax bills are due by March 2. Exemptions won’t be reflected until the second tax bill of the yea year, according to ElSaffar.

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