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Your Property Taxes With Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas


Wednesday, September 13, 2023 || By Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas 

Cook County owes refunds to thousands of property owners because of past overpayments and missed exemptions.

Many homeowners who could use the extra money to pay bills, buy groceries and meet other needs have no idea they are entitled to the funds.

Sheannse Smith recently learned the county owed her $5,233 because of overpayments for taxes on her late mother’s home on 14th Avenue in Maywood. My office helped Smith search for information during a recent Pathways to Cook County event.

“I wasn’t sure how to obtain the money because she’s passed,” Smith told me during a recent episode of my weekly radio show, “Black Houses Matter,” on WVON-AM 1690. Representatives of my office followed up and sent Smith the forms she needed to fill out to apply for her refund.

Smith’s mother died in 2019. Back in 2003, she had overpaid her taxes by $453. Taxpayers may receive refunds for overpayments that occurred up to 20 years ago.

Also, Smith overpaid the taxes on her mother’s home for the 2021 tax year. The reason for the overpayment was common. There was still a mortgage for the property, and the mortgage company paid the taxes from an escrow account. However, a tax bill arrived in the mail and Smith also paid the amount due, which was $4,780.

I asked Smith what she planned to do with the $5,233 when she received it.

“I’m actually going to put it back into her house,” she told me. “I’ve been renovating it.”

Smith plans to move into the home with her family when renovations are completed. 

She is one of thousands of Cook County residents who have received more than $353 million in refunds for overpayments and missed exemptions since my office launched the Black and Latino Houses Matter program in March 2020.

My office can help taxpayers learn whether they are owed some of the $84 million in available property tax refunds for overpayments and checking whether they are eligible for $34 million in missing property tax exemptions.

Homeowners may visit our website at cookcountytreasurer.com and click on a purple box that says, “Your Property Tax Overview” on the home page. Visitors can search using their address or Property Index Number (PIN) and discover whether they are owed money. Listeners may tune in to “Black Houses Matter” from 11:30 a.m. to noon Mondays on WVON-AM 1690.

Thousands of taxpayers like Smith have no idea the county owes them money.

“It was just a surprise,” she said. “It worked out real nice.”

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