WILL COUNTY (WLS) -- Residents and business owners in Will and Kane counties are worried about the thousands of dollars in property tax payments soon to be due amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"Today is my one month anniversary of being off of work," Debbie Fischer told the I-Team. "I still haven't got my unemployment. Things are a little tight right now."
The Will County resident was furloughed from a local casino, which closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. She said she can't afford to pay her property taxes in full.
"I am a little concerned. As, I don't have money escrowed, I have to come up with the money. I can do that, but then I can't eat. So, it comes down to, do we pay our taxes or eat, basically," she said.
The Will County Board has not made any decisions on whether the property tax payment deadline of June 3 will be pushed back, or if interest and fees will be waived.
Fisher said she and her neighbors need relief now.
"Will County has very high late fees" she said.
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Will County Finance Chair Ken Harris said the board has received emails from residents worried about making the payment. But he's also concerned about municipalities having the money to pay their workers. His committee is meeting May 5 and will discuss possible relief options.
"We'll see what we can do at our next meeting. I'm a taxpayer also, so I agree with them, I sympathize with them, but like I say, we are going to have a discussion and we'll see where that discussion leads," he said.
Fisher wants answers sooner than later.
"Could you please notify us what the plan is," she pleaded. "They should be coming in the mail anytime now, they are due the first of June. We need to know what to do now."
In Kane County, Chairman Chris Lauzen said the board unanimously voted April 14 to waive the June 1 interest payment for one month.
Treasurer David Rickert said homeowners have an extra 30 days past that June 1 deadline.
"The county normally makes about $124,000, a year for the first and on the first installment penalty. The county is going to waive that and absorb that cost through a property tax payment Relief Fund," he said.
Rickert said the county would like to extend relief further, but it needs to consider that their municipalities are counting on that money for things such as funding first responders during this pandemic.
Cook County property taxes were due at the beginning of March before the pandemic struck.
Property taxes: Kane County offers some relief, Will County residents still wondering