Some Illinois Counties Have Offered Delayed Penalties For Late Payment of the First Installment Tax Bills
UPDATE: Since we posted our blog on measures taken local boards to aid Illinois property owners in their payment of real estate taxes, the Cook County Board led by President Toni Preckwinkle passed a property tax relief ordinance on May 13, 2020. This ordinance postponed the date when interest penalties for late payments of the second installment tax bill due on August 3, 2020 to be delayed until October 1, 2020.
On May 12, 2020, the Lake County Board passed an ordinance to allow its taxpayers to pay their property taxes over four installments. 50 percent of the first installment is due on June 8th and the other 50 percent of the first installment is due in August 7th. The second installment will not be subject to interest penalties of 1.5 percent per month until November 9th as opposed to the original due date of September 8th. The Lake County ordinance provides a 60 day deferral from the original due dates of the first installment tax bill of June 8th and the second installment tax bill on September 8th before late penalties commence.
Under Illinois law, local county collectors are bound by state law to collect a 1.5% penalty per month on any unpaid installment balance after the due dates. Some county boards have recently passed waivers of the interest penalty for the first installment of property taxes.
In response to the unprecedented health crisis due to the Covid-19 global pandemic, the Kane County Board granted a 30-day waiver of interest penalty so that there will be no late penalty if payment is made on or before July 1, 2020. In Kane County, the first installment is due on June 1, 2020.
In McHenry County, the County Board recently passed a bill allowing for county residents to pay property taxes anytime prior before September 15, 2020 or a 90-day extension without penalty. This original deadline was June 15, 2020 to pay the first installment taxes. Those county residents who pay their real estate taxes through the use of an escrow account will not be affected by the new ordinance.
In DuPage County, interest payments for late payments of the first installment 2019 real estate taxes are now postponed until September 1, 2020. The first installment payments for properties located in DuPage County are due on June 1, 2020. To be eligible for this waiver of late fees, you need to demonstrate financial hardship which resulted from the Covid-19 pandemic. The first criterion is that the property owner must have been laid off or terminated from employment after March 9th, if the applicant had been employed for at least 90 days prior to his or her termination or lay off. Another standard would be that the property owner has been unable to collect at least 80 percent of collectible rent on the property from March 1 to May 30. A third criterion is that a business operated by a property owner, located on that property, must show that it was shut down as a non-essential business and the applicant has not applied for and received relief pursuant to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) of the Coronavirus Aid relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Currently, Cook County and Lake County residents or business and property owners do not have such waiver of late payment fees.
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