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.

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas

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.

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Michael Marek
2 months ago

exactly mark…the williingness to “hand the keys” over of what what most people’s largest financial asset is frightening and speaks to the gross distorted relationship between government taxation and property values which of course is driven by public sector salary and benefits (especially pensions)

Shirley Miller
2 months ago

Check out this home: 9000 a month to live in a two bedroom two bath with no parking or air conditioning.
https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/1755-E-55th-St-60615/unit-301/home/170323744

debtsor
2 months ago
Reply to  Shirley Miller

That’s a wrong calculation from Redfin. The description says taxes are included in the HOA of $2,024 a month. Still a lot, especially since the property is less than 100K

Shirley Miller
2 months ago
Reply to  debtsor

Says taxes are $79,644 a year.

debtsor
2 months ago
Reply to  Shirley Miller

Those taxes are for the entire building, it’s taxed as a co-op, and each unit has a percentage. As opposed a condo, which is taxed individually.

Shirley Miller
2 months ago
Reply to  debtsor

Thanks. The Redfin has it assigned to just that unit but it could be a mistake on their part.

joe blow
2 months ago

I’m sorry guys this recession coming is going to be very bad for your pocketbooks, please take care and I hope all of the smart folks that read this website come out on the other side ok!

Poor Taxpayer
2 months ago

Kiss Illinois good bye, it will be the best day of your life.
It is going to get much, much worse. Never going to get better.

2 months ago

The election of Fritz Kaegi ( may be misspelled ) as Comptroller I believe -quickly provided a substantial brief property tax relief for some Chicagoans such as myself on the far Southside. My 2018 – 2nd Installment was adjusted to $16. It would normally averaged around $700. I dream of leaving Chicago but home requires a myriad of repairs which if sold as is would not pay off the mortgage. So, I am stuck.
Anonymous

Indy
2 months ago

You think you are in a hole now? Just wait.
Best to cut your losses now and get out of Chicago before it totally ruins you financially.

mark fair
2 months ago

I still cant stop laughing. “Its not a democrat or republican problem” she says.. Perhaps she can tell me which republican mayor or governor, etc. raised them taxes that her property owners cant pay!
I would suggest she simply tell the delinquents, “you got what you voted for”

2 months ago
Reply to  mark fair

Edgar played a big part in this mess and he is Republican

JWB
2 months ago

He’s a double dipper, too. Receives about $25,000 a month.

Fuad
2 months ago

Increase tax on alcohol and tobacco to save healthy population and collect taxes money it’s two benefits one way plus traffic will be so calming down without accident loosing life’s decreasing problems

Christo
2 months ago
Reply to  Fuad

Sin taxes have diminishing returns. Raising them drives some people to buy elsewhere so no gain in taxes overall. And people with addictions are not going to consume less just because of a few cents in price, and if they need more money for their addiction they will take money from elsewhere such as family support or even commit crimes to get it . Addiction is a “fixed demand” the supply price including taxes attached to it does not affect it as much as you might think.

Doug
2 months ago

Now, that Pritzker and the Dems are firm in control, their voters may simply think it’s ok not to pay. After all, the people like them need a break and Bernie Sanders would simply waive off their tax bills!

Rudy
2 months ago

Don’t need extensions, what Americans need are tax cuts. Taxes are out of control

Marcia Iza
2 months ago
Reply to  Rudy

Agreed!!!

Marcia Iza
2 months ago
Reply to  Rudy

A movement should be organized to fight this ridiculous property tax increase.. Time and time again. They do it because we allow them to

Marcia Iza
2 months ago

It might seem very generous and kind to EXTEND the time BUT in the meantime the Late Fees keep accumulating, so how do homeowners get ahead. Very interesting.

jeff
2 months ago

Nevada has low property tax rates, and good weather.

Indy
2 months ago
Reply to  jeff

And a volatile economy with low wages.
First thing to go in a recession? Luxury spending like Casino’s/Hotels/Fancy Restaurants and vacations.

left for NV
2 months ago
Reply to  jeff

Life is great in Nevada, gave myself a 30k a year raise leaving crappy Chicago for northern Nevada. If you can work anywhere, and love nature, why not there?

Indy
2 months ago
Reply to  left for NV

Nevada is not known for nature. Desert landscape by definition is low on nature.
Now if you were talking about Montana, Washington and other green mountain states then you might have a case.
Regardless even if your job was immune to a recession you would still feel a pain from the pullback in luxury spending as the state/local governments of Nevada have to either cut services or hike taxes to make it through the recession.

left for NV
2 months ago
Reply to  Indy

85% of the state is BLM land, meaning you can literally camp anywhere in the entire state, wilderness as far as the eye can see! On the western edge are the sierra Nevada mountains, Lake Tahoe and literally endless national parks… it is the most mountainous state in the country! Yes the southern 1/8th near las vegas is hot desert but most is high/alpine desert which is completely different. Its ok, most people don’t know much about the state.

EX-IL Resident
2 months ago
Reply to  left for NV

Wrong Indy- Nevada is beautiful and has billions of dollars pouring into Lake Tahoe area and Reno all from Silicon Valley California . Nevada is not just gambling with the money coming in from Silicon Valley for tax avoidance…..the state is diversifying economically. It is primed for growth

Indy
2 months ago
Reply to  left for NV

80% of the state population lives in Las Vegas/Clark County
So yes its very fair to paint Nevada as a desert because well it is a desert.
2nd the most mountainous state in the country? Are you high? Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana are much more mountainous than Nevada.

left for NV
2 months ago
Reply to  Indy

I suggest you do some research, as you are incorrect

“Nevada has 172 mountain summits with 2,000 feet (610 m) of prominence. Nevada ranks second in the United States by the number of mountains, behind Alaska, and ahead of California, Montana, and Washington. Nevada is the most mountainous state in the contiguous United States.”

DantheMan
2 months ago

I urge those of you entirely focused on the insane taxes to look beyond the looming financial crisis. The financial crisis is simply a symptom of the Illinois liberalism sickness. What are Illinois liberals? What are their values? To put it simply, they believe in government above all other things. If they are forced to choose between God and government, they choose government. If they are forced to choose between individual responsibility and government, they choose government. Consider the following. Most religions believe the unborn child has value. Illinois liberals…not so much. Most of the country believes if you commit… Read more »

Riverbender
2 months ago
Reply to  DantheMan

A considerable amount of the Illinois Free Stuff Army vote right along the liberal line meaning it’s pretty difficult to override what the liberals stand for meaning, to me, Illinois has to destroy itself to save it.

NB-Chicago
2 months ago

Meanwhile all the commonsense republican prop tax reform bills cant make it out of rules committe ( where nill go to die). And jbs prop tax force is a flop…the machine dont give a rat ass………form mr miller on the other side —https://capitolfax.com/2020/03/09/zalewski-admits-property-tax-taskforce-has-failed

2 months ago

Mortgage fraud. Matthew e gurvey and Joseph s varan are running a ring from straw buyers that they stick in other foreclosures to varan daughter that works for @ properties once they are done juicing the straw buyer I’m currently moving out of a place where taner kapan claimed to be the landlord he never owned it but thats where his family spilled enough info its a big ugly ring all parties are complicit

Carol Ann
2 months ago

How about those teachee unions

Richard
2 months ago

Why didn’t article tell which state cook county is in? Several states have a cook county. If news papers owners / editors wonder why people don’t buy newspapers, it is because the papers don’t give ACCURATE data, and what data that is given is obviously wrong; particularly if math is involved. So why one buy a paper. People don’t want fake news. The papers have lost creditability, thus lost readers. It not because of the internet, internet also has problems with presenting factual news . No excuses.

Gipson Jacquelyn
2 months ago
Reply to  Richard

T hi s is Illinois

Rita
2 months ago

Lower the DAMN taxes!!!!!!!😬😬

Indy
2 months ago
Reply to  Rita

By moving to Indiana

Jay
2 months ago

Tax delinquency goes hand in hand with high taxes. Charging more tax than what is reasonable is punishing the hard working Americans while rewarding sit at home lazy people (I understand that there are legit people in need of help and they should get help) with free money. Smart governance means plugging loopholes that are allowing manipulators to milk the system thereby increasing the cost of governance. My sincere appeal: Please reduce government spending, limit public aid to what is really needed and cut the crap. Please don’t make people leave the state.

James
2 months ago
Reply to  Jay

Thanks. I’m sure all the IL politicians will snap to attention Nazi style and get right on it now.

Terrence Mason
2 months ago

The problem is the taxes are ridiculous! Was reassessed, went from 1800/year to 4800/year on a home they overappraised but the appraisal was only 50k total value. If I could get 50k for the home it would be sold. I’m lucky if it worth 10k in the market and if I sell, I would have to walk in with money at the closing. No help from the county or their certificate of errors program either.

NB-Chicago
2 months ago
Reply to  Terrence Mason

You just got to rip out the toilets and hire one of them fancy “springfield” lawyers…no toilet,,no problem ,,dig an out house

Armando Cuesta
2 months ago

QUIT RAISING OUR TAXES…OUR TAXES WENT FROM $3200 TO $7000…

Indy
2 months ago
Reply to  Armando Cuesta

If you lived in Indiana they would be capped at 1%

M
2 months ago

Get rid of the Democrats and give a good Republican a chance. Insanity = Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

DantheMan
2 months ago
Reply to  M

One could argue that staying in Illinois year after year and expecting a different result is insanity.

Jonathan Yleitz
2 months ago

The article does nothing to point out the growing trend of appraisal districts over appraising property to increase revenues for their other cronies is government.

Garrett
2 months ago

Chicago is a cesspool of corruption, overtaxation and crime.
Most properties never bounced back in value after the housing bubble.
Unlike most other parts of the country where housing prices slowly climbed, Chicago housing prices have remained flat or gone down.
The only areas to see values rise have been in the downtown area, south loop or a few trendy areas.
Most of the cities homeowners are upside down in their mortgages and can’t pay the ever increasing taxes.

Francisco Posada
2 months ago

Is so sad taxes are to high and still assume everyone can make those astronomyk prices shame on this people that represents our community we should do something to change all of them

2 months ago

Watch “Ron Gibson: The Truth Will Set You Free https://youtu.be/f3s0CzeRPS0

Indy
2 months ago

Yet another reason to Leave Illinois.
Fortunately this isn’t a problem in Indiana thanks to our 1% property tax cap.

Tina Hammmond
2 months ago

This so sad some of those homes are paid for and this is their life they need to get the land owners who don’t take care of their land.

Matthew Petrousek
2 months ago

If the politicians were more responsible with the taxpayers money they wouldn’t have to raise the taxes on housing to make up for their mistakes I just got approved for a $242,000 loan in Woodridge my taxes would have been $657 every month obviously I turned it down did not buy the house and I am moving to Indiana as soon as my son graduates high school next year I believe the politicians of Illinois need to take responsibility for their actions and stop hurting the people how’s the state of Illinois

Charles Bitten
2 months ago

This problem will get much worse in the coming year. Its not that people are just not paying their taxes they cant. Many have already exhausted their savings and don’t have 6 figure salary jobs. Legislators have to pass a bill giving aid to anyone who doesn’t have the resources to pay these crazy tax bills. They also need to bring spending costs under control with salary and pension limitations. All taxing districts should be told to cut their budgets by 20%. That means telling employees when their contracts are up, take it or goodbye, and rehire someone at 50%of… Read more »

2 months ago
Reply to  Charles Bitten

Pass a bill ? Like what? A bailout type of bill ?
If that’s what you’re proposing then I suppose that myself, and hundreds of thousands of other Cook Co. residents should prepare ourselves to pay the property taxes of others.
Won’t that just be great.

Sandra Fast
2 months ago
Reply to  Cantfindit

I think people over 65 should not have to.pay school district taxes. They paid their share when their kids were in school..many on low income social security, so why shop should I have to pay for your children?

The Truth Hurts
2 months ago
Reply to  Sandra Fast

If we want to exempt over 65 from paying property taxes then everyone under 65 will need to cover that portion. Since the people that are over 65 didn’t pay more when they were under 65, by definition, have not paid their fair share to cover such a proposal.

As it is, retirees currently are not paying any state income tax on ss, pension, ira, etc.. income. A couple of retired pensioners making 200k per year don’t pay any state income tax while the family making 50K per year is paying $2500 per year.

James
2 months ago

Last I heard is that “two wrongs don’t make a right.” Each issue should be attacked on its own merits.

The Truth Hurts
2 months ago
Reply to  James

What are the two wrongs? Are you saying it’s wrong for people over 65 to pay property taxes while those under 65 should pay it for them? You can’t “attack” each issue individually. If you lower taxes for someone else taxes need to go up for others unless you are cutting spending. Everything is connected. That’s why if there is ever property tax relief in this state income taxes would most likely rise.

James
2 months ago

What I’m trying to say is that, generally speaking, if you seek to make a financial preference in one area while taking it away elsewhere you’re likely to create even more problems since you’re not making it happen to the same sets of people. If you can make it the same net gain or loss for the same people its less of an issue for anyone not directly involved in either of those two groups. Otherwise, you’re just foisting the problem on to others not do directly involved. If you don’t agree, please don’t lose sleep over it.

Chitown Consult
2 months ago
Reply to  Sandra Fast

This is an age old argument. If you want to maintain property value then you need good schools. In Crook County probably won’t happen so get out now while you can

Tom Paine's Ghost
2 months ago

This is what a government financial death spiral looks like. Corrupt government raises taxes to pay their puppet masters at public sector unions. People flee to avoid the absurd tax burden. Some owners leave the properties with taxes unpaid. Corrupt government officials refuse to fix the underlying problem and instead raise taxes. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

The only solution is bankruptcy and the sooner it happens the better.

Jim
2 months ago

There is a big difference between a tax sale and a tax scavenger sale and it is irresponsible for her to use these terms interchangeably

Joan
2 months ago

Why isn’t anybody else reporting these things!. Seems like every day you have stories that are really important that I never see any other place. It’s the same with that story about crazy social justice investing.

Douglas
2 months ago

If the government charges you annual “rent” on your own property, do you really own it? Government has been allowed to get this far out of control and has gone from protecting individual liberty to being a threat to said liberty.

2 months ago
Reply to  Douglas

Don’t forget, the government you speak of are the 10’s of thousands of retired teachers, police, firefighters, and many, many others, who are receiving, or are about to receive very generous pensions. What to do about this?
And remember, it’s getting worse for the taxpayers literally by the day. Oh, and our esteemed Governor wants to raise income taxes. Ain’t that a great solution to people who already can’t afford their taxes? And if you believe that it’s only gonna be on the rich, then you’ll get what you deserve for being a sucker.

Garrett
2 months ago
Reply to  Cantfindit

So true. Government pensions paid out at all levels of governmemt are a windfall for those retirees. Government retirees who retired in their 50’s have seen their pensions increase 3% due to the Illinois Constituion Amendment. This 3% annual increase has seen some pensioners now receiving more than double of what their original pension was. Many pay little (2%) or nothing for healthcare benefits in plans that arw much better than Medicare. A report last year (2019) by the Chicago Tribune found that more than 70,000 retired state employees receive pensions in excess of $100,000. That’s more like an annual… Read more »

Tom Paine's Ghost
2 months ago
Reply to  Cantfindit

I’m OK with the firefighters and police officers receiving their pensions. They have put their lives on the line. But the teachers? Are you kidding? The most evil organization in illinois is CTU. They can starve on dog food for the rest of their lives. They made this mess and arrogantly feel as if they are special.

Kimberly Johanson
2 months ago

Residents will continue to leave the state unless property taxes go down.
It’s ridiculous that I can move next door to Indiana and pay 11k less in property taxes.

Karyn McGary
2 months ago

I agree the taxes in Cook County are outrageous. We elect these officials and yet we have no say over the amount of taxes we are assessed. I think it’s criminal and Cook County needs to be audited by our federal government. If a homeowner can’t afford the increase well that’s just too bad and Cook County has the right to sale their property off. Really what is the advantage of homeownership when you have no control over your mortgage increasing due to taxes? My taxes have increased by50% since I’ve been living in my home and I have a… Read more »

Indy
2 months ago
Reply to  Karyn McGary

Come join the exodus to Indiana and forever be protected by a 1% cap on property taxes

2 months ago
Reply to  Karyn McGary

SENIOR FREEZE

Indy
2 months ago

That’s why the smart ones are moving to Indiana & enjoying a better life

Gemini
2 months ago

The tax sale is an extremely efficient method for solving the short fall. Works very well for the government. Kind of harsh for property owners. Only when and if tax buyers stop showing up the the tax sale (not likely), will there be a real problem for the government.

Freddy
2 months ago
Reply to  Gemini

Correct. Problem is that there are out of town companies that go from city to city that buy up properties at the tax sale to get the possible up to 18% interest that owners would pay to get their properties back. Here in Rockford a few years back companies bought over $23M in properties just to get whatever interest rate they negotiated. Local buyers have little chance of getting homes and fixing then up and reselling. Now Rockford is stuck with untold properties that those companies gave back to the city with some obscure legal mumbo-jumbo. Not sure what those… Read more »

Karyn McGary
2 months ago
Reply to  Freddy

Perhaps we should elect politicians that will pass a law preventing companies from buying property taxes

Charles Bitten
2 months ago
Reply to  Gemini

Tax buyers are also buying with hesitation. They cant make money when the annual taxes are 10% of the property value. After paying 3 years taxes and fees, and then legal fees for acquiring title and then, repair costs, there will be no profit.They are starting to realize this.That’s why many properties don’t sell at tax sales anymore.

Danni Smith
2 months ago
Reply to  Gemini

I have the background in work and education to “IMAGINE”, pappas. Considering why the majority of people buy at tax sales, there is and will continue to be a problem for the over-paid, over-pensioned gub. And it is growing like topsy. People don’t know the ratio-1 gub employee for every 3 citizens. Who will buy? The message is a bullhorn to the gubs, “I am Leaving”. Collapse of the system is the only answer. They will not self-correct and they will keep giving, because they get, that automatic 3% increase every single year, no matter if there is a recession… Read more »

Freddy
2 months ago

Think of this for a minute. When taxing bodies levy an extremely high tax burden on property and then if we are unable to pay those tax’s our names are put in the local newspaper as being delinquent. Late fees of 1.5%/month are levied and we have 24 months and 36%+ in late fees later then our homes are sold at a property auction. We are treated as criminals. Might as well put our pictures in the local post office. Our properties are always held hostage until tax’s paid in full whether late or not. No partial tax payments whatsoever… Read more »

Indy
2 months ago
Reply to  Freddy

When they leave the state.

Jack
2 months ago

I walked away from an office condominium in Flossmoor that I paid $100,000 35 years ago because my taxes went from $13,000 in 2008 to $24,000 in 2013

debtsor
2 months ago

These are properties that are paid off with no mortgages, as the lenders would usually pay the taxes on the mortgagor’s behalf, so as to prevent the tax sale. or the lenders are choosing NOT to pay the taxes going forward as the resale value of the property is less than they can ever expect to recover in a foreclosure.

DB
2 months ago

There is no help for disabled home owners to stay in their properties. A house Bill HB3401 which would help disabled homeowners of any age, is collecting dust in a 6 person sub-committee. A news article needs to be done on this matter. It was written by D Joyce Mason of Gurnee. Please get that bill out of the sub committee and get it to a hearing to be passed.

Anonymous
2 months ago

By extending the time frame for the tax sale these property owners are paying an additional 1.5% per month on the delinquent taxes. So if someone defaults on the 1st payment in March under this legislation they then have to pay 28.5% in penalty to the County Treasurer.

Danni Smith
2 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

one more way to collect money for them with an absurd fine-that’s all it is in Illinois-we are actually paying these people to sit around and figure out ways to tax more-what work do they ever do?? Not Madigan, or durbin or any dem, few repubs-casten was asked his three top priorities and this idiot answered, climate change, climate change climate change. I am voting for IVES although she won’t be able to do anything about saving the Illinois taxpayer. Never Peggy Hubbard-she is a dem plant.

2 months ago

I think you mean a 42% increase in delinquencies. If this year’s delinquency number is 57K, then last years number would have been about 40K.

Jake
2 months ago

Wait until the Covid-19 effect happens.