Cook County property tax overpayment, unclaimed exemptions may entitle homeowners to refunds

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Cook County Treasurer said homeowners in the county may be owed money, and a simple check-in online is all they need to do. Maria Pappas said during this hard time, there are millions of dollars which could be refunded to county taxpayers.

There are two pots of money to tap into: Millions in overpaid property taxes, or millions in possible unclaimed exemptions.

"If you forgot to apply for an exemption, it's $44 million. If you double paid, it's $79 million," Pappas said.

Pappas said homeowners are leaving this money on the table, and may have forgotten all about it.

She said an example of overpayment would be making duplicate property tax payments after closing on a home. You could then get that money back by checking cookcountytreasurer.com and clicking on the purple box that says "Your Property Tax Overview."

"You go there, you put in your address and it tells you if you have overpaid going back 20 years," Pappas said.

As for unclaimed property tax exemptions, you also go to that same "Your Property Tax Overview" box and look for "home owners exemptions" or "exemption history search." You can then apply for potential money back.

"Homeowners exemptions, senior exemptions, senior freeze exemptions," Pappas explained. "So we are finding out that people more often than not forgot to get their homeowners' exemptions."

This could be an option for financial relief as tax payers wait for more upcoming savings.

Pappas recommended that the Cook County Board waive two months of property tax penalties if people are late on their August payment. The board approved.
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