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Cook County Property Tax: If You Overpaid Your First Installment, You Could Be Due a Refund

By Gary Smith
Cook County Property Tax: If You Overpaid Your First Installment, You Could Be Due a Refund

A number of Cook County property owners are receiving automatic refunds for overpayment on the first installment of their property taxes.

Homeowner Overpayments Automatically Refunded

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas instituted an automatic refund program in July 2018, to provide refunds to property owners who overpay on their property tax bills.

For this first installment payments, nearly 11,500 property owners will automatically receive $25.4 million in refund. Almost 4,000 of those refunds are going to homeowners who are receiving property tax exemptions—the value of those exemptions is applied to the second installment bill.

Property owners can check to see if they’re receiving a refund by visiting the Cook County Treasurer’s website, clicking the purple box that reads “Your Property Overview” and typing in the property address.

5,137 homeowners who paid their property taxes online or by check will receive funds electronically deposited to their bank or credit card accounts. The amount overpaid in this manner totaled $14.9 million.

5,484 homeowners who paid their taxes through an escrow account will be mailed refund checks totaling $10.1 million.

808 homeowners who paid their taxes in cash will be mailed a refund application to ensure the property party receives the refund. These totaled $412,177.

This automatic repayment system created by the Treasurer’s office is different from the STOPS program, which automatically returns a duplicate tax payment if homeowners try to pay the property taxes when they already have escrow payments set up.

Homeowners who have not completed the paperwork to receive a property tax exemption for which the property was eligible can fill out paperwork to apply for a Certificate of Error to either receive a corrected bill or a refund. Certificate of Errors can be provided for the following residential exemptions:

  • Homeowner Exemption
  • Senior Exemption
  • Senior Freeze
  • Persons with Disabilities
  • Returning Veterans
  • Veterans with Disabilities

Property owners who want to appeal their assessments need to do so in the proper timeframes outlined for their city or townships. The Appeals Calendar and Deadlines can also be found on the Cook County Assessor’s website.

The best way to ensure that you’re paying the fair amount of taxes for the property is to double-check that the property is receiving all the exemptions for which it is eligible, as well as appealing the property assessment when it is in error or out of line with the property value.