By: Mark Glennon*
You’d certainly think this would have gotten more press.
Cook Country Treasurer Maria Pappas recently held a press conference as part of her annual effort to get property owners to pay up on taxes to avoid foreclosure.
This year, however, she added exceptionally ominous numbers and comments.
Referring to the 57,515 Cook County tax-delinquent property owners facing a May 8 scavenger tax sale, Pappas said, “That is exactly 17,000 more than last year” at this time. There are numerous problems facing the city like crime, school, ethical problems and those “beyond human imagination,” she said, and what matters to Cook County residents is their property.
That’s as reported by The Chicago Crusader. Its full article is linked here. Strangely, I’ve seen no other reporting on the year-over-year change in those delinquency numbers or the sharpness of her comments. Those numbers mean 42 percent more Cook County property owners are delinquent on their taxes than last year at this time, which is obviously a frightening increase.
Many of those delinquencies result from routine errors, procrastination, wrong addresses and the like, which are routine. Pappas has long made a determined effort each year to try to reach delinquent owners to encourage them to pay and avoid foreclosure. However, a 42 percent jump indicates that something new and more ominous is going on.
This year, Pappas added support for state legislation that would extend the payment deadline. According to her press release on that, Property owners earlier had 12 months to pay delinquent taxes before the annual tax sale. In 2014, the legislature shortened the time period, which is now nine months. Senate Bill 3356, introduced in the Illinois General Assembly Feb. 14, 2020, would set the deadline at 13 months.
We’ve praised Pappas before for her office’s transparency, which posts extensive, candid data. Big salute, again.
This article was updated to correct the percentage increase in delinquencies, which was 42 percent, not 30 percent.
*Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints.