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As Cook County property tax bills again face long delays, officials point fingers over who’s to blame

Aerial photograph of homes in the Little Village neighborhood Saturday, April 1, 2017. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune)

The heads of Cook County’s assessor’s office and its property tax appeal agency currently don’t agree on how it happened, but they agree on this: Second-installment property tax bills are going to be delayed this year again.

County officials have not announced how far the postponement will stretch, but the chair of the Board of Review has warned it could be six months — the latest due date in the past 10 years. Traditionally, the offices involved have aimed to get the second round of bills out by July with an August due date.


The tardiness could impose a hardship not only on property owners but also on taxing bodies such as public school districts and other forms of local government. And it comes after second-installment bills faced a two-month delay in 2021.

Board of Review Chair Larry Rogers Jr. contends the buck stops with Assessor Fritz Kaegi, whom Rogers said “controls the calendar” because Kaegi’s office begins the process by assessing property values before handing calculations to the Board of Review. The appeals board then conducts another look at properties whose owners want their assessments reconsidered. The clerk then applies the equalizer formula, and the treasurer issues the bills.