As the Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas tried to educate people ahead of the annual May sell-off of delinquent taxes, she also pushed for people to claim the dollars out there in both overpayments and unclaimed exemptions.
Property Owners Might be Owed Money
Cook County is sitting on $85 million in overpayments and $44 million in unclaimed exemptions. And according to Pappas, it is often the most vulnerable residents—senior citizens on a fixed budget—who are owed those dollars.
To claim those dollars, Cook County residents must follow a few steps:
- Enter the home’s address on the Cook County Treasurer’s website, by entering your Property Identification Number (PIN) or property address
- Halfway down that page, it will tell the property owner if there are overpayments on that property.
- Under that box, it will spell out what exemptions there have been on the property for the past four years.
- Fill out the appropriate form, found under the Forms tab on the website, to claim the appropriate dollars.
In addition, it is very important that the contact information for that address is correct. Property taxes often become delinquent because a property owner isn’t receiving the bill. On that page, a property owner can also set up for eBilling, to receive the tax bill by email.
Double-Check Property Information
Property owners should also check the Cook County Assessor’s website to ensure that the information listed there about the property is correct, such as the date it was built, the square footage, the PIN, etc. If it’s a residential property, a homeowner should ensure that it spells out the correct number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
Any incorrect information listed on the Cook County Assessor’s website is grounds for a property tax appeal.
Another reason many property owners appeal property taxes is a lack of uniformity, meaning the property is taxed more then similar properties in the area. On the Cook County Assessor’s website, they provide a list of properties they think are comparable, and it allows you to check them off. Property owners need to make sure that the comparable properties are similar, especially in terms of the following:
- Square footage
- Lot size
- Construction type
- Bedroom and bathroom count
Each community has a different deadline for the appeals process, so a property owner should check that first.