Will there be any delay or forgiveness of tax bills because of the COVID-19 pandemic?

In response to the widespread demand by Cook County Taxpayers for economic relief, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced On May 13 her plans to waive late fees on property tax payments. Under the proposed relief ordinance, interest penalties for late payments of the second installment of property taxes, which are normally due August 3, will now be postponed until October 1. The property tax relief ordinance will be presented at the next full meeting of the Cook County Board of Commissioners scheduled for May 21.

Kane, McHenry, and Lake counties are also considering plans to waive late fees or interest payments for the first installment property tax payments due in June. However, an important exception to this in Kane and McHenry counties is taxpayers who pay their bills through escrow installments and, consequently, will not be granted this relief. Read more.

The Assessor has talked about applying a COVID-19 reduction factor to my assessment. When will I see that?

For properties located in the South Suburbs, which are scheduled for an upcoming 2020 reassessment, the Assessor will issue a COVID-19 factor along with their assessment notice. For South Suburban properties that already have published 2020 assessments, as well as Northwest suburban and City townships which would ordinarily remain unchanged this year, a COVID-19 factor will be published in December after the South Suburban appeals process concludes, but before the Assessor certifies his values and sends them to the Board of Review.

If the Assessor issues a COVID-19 reduction factor, do I still need to appeal?

Until the assessments and COVID-19 reduction factor are published, it will be impossible to ascertain whether they accurately capture the effects of the pandemic on real estate values. As with any assessment, it will be prudent to scrutinize these values to determine if they are fair and equitable. Additionally, because the economic effects of the pandemic are evolving month by month, data critical to the accurate assessment of property may not be available for townships assessed before the end of the 2020 calendar year.

I already appealed my taxes in 2019 or 2018, but I own a rental property, and my tenants have stopped paying rent or have asked for rent reductions. Can we appeal my 2020 taxes?

The answer is emphatically, “Yes.” A 2020 Property Tax Appeal will be critical to maintaining the stability of your asset. The sudden drop in your rental income has an immediate and substantial effect on the value of your property and should be addressed in a 2020 appeal of your property tax assessment. Even you have already appealed your 2018 or 2019 taxes, it is critical that you re-appeal in 2020 so that your current assessment reflects the economic damage caused by the pandemic-driven market downturn.