For most of the last decade, Cook County’s second installment tax bills were issued at the end of June and were due by Aug. 1. But for the 2021 taxes (paid in 2022), the issuance and due dates of second installment tax bills are expected to be much later than normal. It is not yet clear when the second installment bills will be issued, but estimates range from mid- to late-fall of 2022, with the due dates coming 30 days after the bills are issued.
Before second installment tax bills can be issued, all Cook County assessment appeals must be resolved — first by the Cook County Assessor’s Office and then by the Cook County Board of Review. Unfortunately, this year there were compatibility problems between a new computer system used by the Assessor’s office and an older system used by the Board of Review. These compatibility problems led to significant delays in the transmission of data between the county appeal agencies, and the result is that second installment bills will be late.
Oak Park’s experience with 2021 appeals (the results of which appear on bills paid in 2022), provides a good example of what has been happening. On June 16, 2021, Oak Park’s appeal period with the Cook County Assessor’s office ended. But due to the computer compatibility problems, the county assessor’s appeal results and final valuations for Oak Park were not released until November of 2021. As a result, Oak Park’s appeal period with the Board of Review, which usually begins in the summer, did not start until December of 2021.
Taxpayers may appreciate that the second installment of 2021 tax bills will not be due until sometime toward the end of 2022. But they should be aware that they will have far less time to prepare for the first installment of 2022 taxes, which should be due around March 1, 2023. There may be just a few months between the payment deadlines for these two bills.
In addition, the delays in issuance of the tax bills may create difficulties for public schools, municipalities, and other local taxing districts that depend on property tax revenue. Taxing districts with large fund balances may be able to handle the delays in tax bills, but some districts with smaller fund balances may have to borrow money to meet payroll and cover other expenses.
Taxpayers seeking updates about the status of second installment tax bills should feel free to call Ali ElSaffar at the Oak Park Township Assessor’s Office at 708-383-8005 or check the Township’s website, firstname.lastname@example.org.