Thousands of property owners in Cook County will catch a break this week in the form of an “automatic refund” after the Cook County Treasurer said they overpaid their First Installment of last year’s property taxes.
According to a press release from Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, beginning this week, $30.5 million in “automatic refunds” were sent out to more than 9,000 property owners due to overpayment. The release notes that in most cases, property owners won’t have to fill out any applications or forms in order to receive their money.
“They will get their money automatically,” the release said, adding that approximately 48% of the refunds will be deposited directly into property owners’ bank accounts over the next three months.
According to the treasurer, Cook County property taxes are due in two annual installments. “Taxpayers receiving automatic refunds paid First Installment amounts that exceeded the total due for the year,” the release said.
Approximately 1,900 homeowners who paid their property taxes online will see a total of $13.1 million electronically deposited into their bank accounts, the release said and nearly 4,000 homeowners who paid their taxes through a bank or mortgage escrow account will see mailed refund checks totaling $8 million.
Approximately 2,900 homeowners who paid taxes totaling $9.3 million in cash or check will either receive an electronic refund, or will be mailed a refund application “to ensure the proper party receives the refund,” the release stated.
According to Pappas, most of the refunds will go to homeowners receiving property tax exemptions, which include Homeowner, Senior Citizen, Senior Freeze and Disabled Persons. Those exemptions are are then applied to the Second Installment tax bill and reduce the total taxes due.
According to officials, Second Installment 2022 property tax bills were due Dec. 1, 2023.
How to know if you are receiving an automatic refund
The release advises property owners to visit the Cook County Treasurer website to check if an automatic refund is due.
Users should select the purple box titled “Your Property Tax Overview, and then enter either a home address or a 14-digit Property Index Number.