CHICAGO — Delinquent property taxes owed on thousands of properties in Chicago and suburban Cook County are about to be sold in the county’s annual Tax Sale, many in minority communities. Unfortunately, many residents may be unaware that their property is eligible for the annual tax sale.
Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas will conduct the annual sale of delinquent property taxes from May 12 through May 18, 2022. This Tax Sale is for delinquent property taxes from Tax Year 2019, which were due in two installments in 2020.
Approximately $175.6 million in unpaid 2019 property taxes are overdue on 37,176 properties in Cook County. The properties include homes, businesses and vacant land throughout Chicago (17,709 properties) and Cook County suburbs (19,467 properties). Less than $1,000 is owed on 19,350 properties.
In Illinois, a tax lien auction allows investors to purchase delinquent taxes owed on a property. Investors buy the right to collect the past due property taxes plus interest. For example, investors can earn as much as 18 percent interest every six months (36 percent). Investors aren’t buying the actual property, but the lien the government places on the property, which may make it difficult for owners to sell or pass the property on to heirs.
The Cook County Treasurer’s Office sent notices to these owners via certified mail informing them that their unpaid taxes are to be auctioned, which would put a lien against their properties. However, the U.S. Postal Service has returned nearly 15,000 bills and subsequent notices.
“Many residents may be unaware that their property is eligible for the tax sale,” Pappas said. “The majority of the taxes offered are for properties in minority communities. I started ‘Black and Latino Houses Matter’ to help homeowners find refunds and apply for tax exemptions.”
How To Get Your Property Off The Tax Sale List:
Under Illinois law, the Cook County Treasurer’s Office is required to put delinquent taxes, not the property itself, up for auction. Visit the country treasurer’s website and click on “Avoid the Tax Sale” for more information and to see if your property is on the Tax Sale list.
Find City of Chicago tax delinquent properties by ward here.