Gary H. Smith
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Cook County Property Taxes: Your Refund May Be On the Way

By Gary Smith
Cook County Property Taxes: Your Refund May Be On the Way

In August, Cook County taxpayers received about $24.6 million in property tax refunds, mostly due from property tax exemptions.

Who Should Have Received Property Tax Refunds?

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas said nearly 25,000 homeowners received refunds, and their second-installment tax bills, which were due Aug. 1 showed a zero balance.

Property tax exemptions included homeowners, senior citizens, disabled persons, disabled veterans, or the senior assessment freeze. These exemptions are applied to the second tax bill installment.

Pappas estimated that to be about 90% of all refunds. Approximately 10,100 homeowners who paid online or by check earlier in the year should have received a credit to their bank or credit card accounts before the end of July. About 11,300 homeowners who paid through a bank or mortgage escrow account, should have received a refund check in the mail at the end of August.

Approximately 3,200 homeowners paid property taxes in cash, so they must fill out a refund application in order to receive their refund. Refund applications are also required if the county can’t tell what entity paid the property taxes.

The application is available on the Cook County Treasurer’s website, and it needs to be completed, signed and returned with one of the following proofs of payment of each tax payment:

  • Copy of canceled check(s)
  • Copy of the receipt from the cashier
  • Copy of paid tax sale redemption bill
  • Copy of real estate closing statement with a copy of the title company check
  • Copy of bank statement showing account holder’s name and subject tax payment
  • If the mortgage company paid, a copy of IRS Form 1098, indicating taxes paid for the tax year in question or a letter from the mortgage company, addressed to the homeowner, including the Property Index Number, amount paid, date paid, tax year and installment
  • If another entity paid, such as a builder, previous owner, title company, etc., you might be asked for a letter direction, written by the other entity that authorizes the Treasurer’s Office to issue the refund to the person applying for it

In the suburbs, about 7,667 property owners will divide up nearly $12 million, with the largest average amounts going to Barrington and Barrington hills.

Property owners can find out if they should have received a refund by visiting the Cook County Treasurer’s website and clicking on the purple box labeled “Your Property Overview.”