Debt of Governments Listed on Property Tax Bills, Treasurer Maria Pappas Says
The financial data and pension debt of every local government, school district or other taxing agency that taxes a home or other property in Cook County is listed on nearly 1.8 million bills mailed to property owners, County Treasurer Maria Pappas said today.
From seven to 20 taxing bodies levy taxes on a given property, and the bill for each property has a section called “Taxing District Debt and Financial Data.” In that section are four categories:
- Money Owed by Your Taxing Districts
- Pension and Healthcare Amounts Promised by Your Taxing Districts
- Amount of Pension and Healthcare Shortage
- Percentage of Pension and Healthcare Costs Taxing Districts Can Pay
Owners of taxable homes, businesses and land in the nation’s second-largest county can see the information on First Installment bills for Tax Year 2015 mailed by the Treasurer’s Office. The bills have a due date of March 1, 2016.
Pappas noted that even more financial information about local governments can be found by visiting her website, cookcountytreasurer.com, selecting “Want to see your local government debt?” and entering either the 14-digit Property Index Number for a piece of real estate or the name of a taxing district.
“Taxpayers have a right to know about the spending and debt incurred by those who tax them,” Pappas said. “We have designed a bill and website that do just that.”
The information comes from the county’s Debt Disclosure Ordinance (DDO), written by Pappas, which requires all primary local governments across Cook County to report their financial data yearly to the Treasurer's Office.
To avoid late penalties of 1.5 percent monthly, Pappas said, taxpayers can pay on time before March 1 in four ways:
- Online at cookcountytreasurer.com, from checking or savings accounts.
- At 400 Chase Bank installations across Illinois.
- By mail, in enclosed return envelopes postmarked no later than March 1.
- Mortgage escrow (taxpayers should confirm payment with their mortgage-paying firm).