Cook County Treasurer's Office - 5/7/2004
Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas announced today a new service that will help thousands of additional property owners find if they may be due property-tax refunds for exemptions they might have missed.
"Taxpayers now may go to www.cookcountytreasurer.com and click on 'Exemption History' to see if their properties were credited for important tax breaks," Pappas said. "This is important, because taxpayers can still go back and receive credits from the Assessor's Office and then receive related refunds from the Treasurer for taxes they already paid. We conservatively estimate more than $45 million in reductions are available."
More than 200,000 properties show the potential for qualifying. That is based on records of property owners receiving the homeowner, senior or senior-assessment freeze exemptions one year, but not the next. In some cases, owners qualified but did not apply. For example, 65,913 properties received the homeowner exemption for 1999 taxes but not 2000; 25,633 received it for 2000, not 2001; and 151,906 received it in 2001, not 2002. The properties are geographically split almost evenly between Chicago and the suburbs.
The new 3-year history on the Web expands a successful effort by the Treasurer's Office to send letters and use the Internet to tell taxpayers who missed exemptions on the bills paid last fall. "Tens of thousands of homeowners have filed with the Assessor's Office since then and most are now going to receive refunds of $300 to $650 each," Pappas said. "This new three-year history will help even more taxpayers."
The Web site also offers instructions on how to apply to the County Assessor for adjustments—and contact information for the City of Chicago's Property Tax Assistance Center and suburban Township Assessors.
These new exemption-information services are in addition to past efforts to find those who may have double-paid taxes through a mortgage or title company when buying or refinancing their homes. At summer fests and fairs this year, Pappas said her office will offer both overpayment and exemption information.