The second installment of Cook County’s property tax bills could be substantially delayed this year.
While the Assessor, Fritz Kaegi, published the initial assessments out on a reasonably timely basis, computer issues are delaying his response to assessment appeals. Cook County has an antiquated computer system that Kaegi ordered updated. The Assessor’s office should have arguably waited until the software was ready, which it obviously was not. This is now creating a major problem.
Property tax appeals go through several stages and nothing has been able to move forward. The Assessor’s office has generally been almost wrapped up by year end and they haven’t even started the appeal responses. The Board of Review hasn’t been able to move forward with any appeals of the Assessors’ review. Property owners are entitled to challenge their assessments which frequently involve property tax attorneys and property tax appraisers. This is a legal entitlement and cannot be eliminated.
Property tax bills cannot be issued until the review process is complete. Taxing bodies such as school districts may need to borrow money just to stay afloat until the property tax money arrives. Cook County hasn’t faced this problem since 2010.