Illinois County to Refund $24.6 Million in Property Taxes
Cook County, Illinois, is sending out a huge tax refund. Property taxpayers in the county are set to receive roughly $24.6 million in multiple installments thanks to property tax exemptions for homeowners, senior citizens, disabled persons, disabled veterans, and senior assessment freezes. Interestingly, the county plans to issue “nearly 90 percent” of the refunds in question without an application, according to Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas.
Cook County residents will actually learn of their refunds, in many cases, when they receive their checks in the mail. They can also look online to find out if they are eligible. Real estate investors may wish to review properties with refunds coming as well if the investors track delinquent taxes and their associated properties. About 10,100 homeowners who paid by check or online will get credits to their bank accounts, while more than 11,000 will receive physical checks.
Interestingly, around 3,000 homeowners will be invited to apply for a property tax refund, since the county is concerned the wrong party might receive the check in question. Pappas noted in some suburbs that the average refund amount is nearly $5,000. The refunds are a result of new policies related to homeowner and senior exemptions and successful appeals for property tax assessments. In Cook County, many homeowners pay their property taxes in two separate installments.
At Strategic Passive Investments, we invest in Illinois property tax liens for several reasons even though historically the state has not had particularly “real estate investor-friendly” policies. Illinois offers high interest rates on its liens – as much as 36 percent over 36 months – and is perfect for investors who seek returns through the redemption of liens because its laws are longer but less aggressive than states like South Carolina or Texas, which are considered prime states for property acquisition. Because Illinois has very high tax rates but also has aggressive policies in place to help homeowners avoid foreclosure if at all feasible, the state is ideal for someone who is interested in obtaining a conservative, high yield return upon payment of the tax lien.
Because Illinois property tax lien actions follow a “bid-down” format, they actually benefit the investor seeking a good return and the property owner, who benefits from a lower interest rate. Max interest rate in the state is 18 percent per six-month period. In some cases, investors may bid as low as 0 percent, and only an experienced tax auction bidder will know when this type of action is appropriate.