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Estimated Refund of $19.5 Million in Paid Property Taxes to Cook County Homeowners by October 15th

Approximately 53,000 homeowners who paid property taxes via cash or check will be getting rebate checks in the mail due to increases in the homeowner’s exemption and senior citizen’s homestead exemption amounts by the end of August.  Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas announced that the refunds result from the increase of the homestead exemption from a $7,000 to $10,000 deduction from taxpayer’s equalized assessed valuation and from a $5,000 to $8,000 deduction for the senior citizen’s exemption for the 2017 tax year.  Cook County Treasurer Pappas has set forth in press release on August 3rd that 36,000 homeowners who paid their real estate taxes by check or online will receive a credit to their bank or credit card accounts by August 15th; 15,000 homeowners who paid through their mortgage escrow accounts will get refund checks in the mail by mid-October; and 2,000 homeowners whose taxes were paid in cash will be mailed a refund application by August 15th to ensure that the proper party receives the refund.   To check if you are entitled to a refund, go to www.cookcountytreasurer.com, click on the purple box “Your Property Overview” and enter your Permanent Index Number (PIN) or your address.

Treasurer Pappas added that the average increase in the homeowner’s exemption in Chicago is $226 and in the Cook County suburbs, it is $306.  The average increase for Chicago homeowners to the senior citizen exemption is $224 while in the suburbs it is $321.

The refunds resulted from the increase in the Homeowner’s and Senior Citizen’s Homestead Exemption which was approved by the Illinois General Assembly and was advocated by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios.  As a result of this increased benefit to homeowners, commercial properties have been hit harder.  The owner of a business property in Chicago which is valued at $224,500 will pay $12,082 in total taxes in 2018  which is an increase of about $840 or a 7.5% increase more than the 2017 tax year. “Average Chicago homeowner to pay $110 more in property tax this year,” by Hal Dardick, Chicago Tribune, June 20, 2018.

Overall, this rebate is a boon for Chicago homeowners, but has led to increased tax bills for Cook County commercial property owners.