Property owners in Cook County, Illinois will likely get an extra two months to make their second installment property tax payments. Meanwhile, neighboring Lake County announced plans to spread payments out to four installments instead of two.
It’s an effort to help out business and residential property owners during the economic challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Giving Taxpayers Some Breathing Room
The Cook County Board of Commissioners is expected to move the August 3 due date to October 1 and halt the usual 1.5% monthly interest fees. Any payments made by October 1 would be considered on time.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, commissioners, and other county officials came up with the plan after over a month of discussion and are expected to vote on it during their May 21 Board of Commissioners meeting.
“These are incredibly difficult times and this measure creates much-needed breathing room for Cook County property owners,” Preckwinkle said in a statement.
The late fee wavier is allowed under Preckwinkle’s disaster declaration surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commissioner Larry Suffredin told the Chicago Tribune that he believes the votes are there to pass the proposed fee waiver.
“What I’m hearing from people is they’re very concerned," Suffredin said. “They want to make sure that they are feeding their families and other priorities other than their taxes. Until we get back to some form of normalcy, I think that all that fear does is cause stress.”
Lake County Offers New Payment Options
At its May 12 meeting, the Lake County Board passed several measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic including a property tax extension, which allows taxpayers to spread out their property tax payments.
Taxes were originally due on June 8 and Sept. 8. Under the new ordinance, property owners must still pay the full amount of taxes due, but may spread them over four payments on the schedule outlined below without incurring any interest penalties:
50% of the first installment payment is due by June 8, 2020
50% of the first installment payment is due by Aug. 7, 2020
50% of the second installment payment is due by Sept. 8, 2020
50% of the second installment payment is due by Nov. 9, 2020
The Lake County Treasurer's Office will be sending notice of the deferred payment plan to Lake County property owners through the mail in next few weeks.