Which Counties in Illinois are Offering Property Tax Relief During Coronavirus Crisis?

  • Business owners in Counties of Illinois are struggling to pay their taxes due to June 1st.
  • Only a few county boards are considering to offer relief.

Coronavirus pandemic is changing our lifestyles. While some employees are working from home, others have filed unemployment. Families and businesses are finding it hard to pay their property tax bills. If you haven’t received your bill yet, it might be on its way.

In times of crisis, it’s fair to question what are the US counties doing to provide financial relief to their people?

What are Business Owners Saying?

The leaders of DuPage Lake and McHenry counties have been struggling to pay their property taxes. Business owners and employers alike regardless of the industry (finance, MFG staffing, IT, fashion, etc.) all are faced financial crunch. Netta Schelden from Grayslake who is the owner of Equidream School of Horsemanship says her school horses are not working. Her riding business has been greatly affected due to the shut-down. She owes $4000 in property tax which must be paid within 2 months. Ms. Schelden thinks she might have to use her retirement money to make the tax payment.

Illinois is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product (GDP), the sixth largest population, and the 25th largest land area of all U.S. states. Illinois has been noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, and natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, and is a major transportation hub. Chicagoland, Chicago’s metropolitan area, encompasses about 65% of the state’s population.

Property owners in the Lake Country are scheduled to receive their property tax bills and the payment is due by June 8th.  Unfortunately, the country broad hasn’t delayed tax collection. They aren’t waving the tax, interest, or late payment fee. The interest rate is set at 1.5% for the 1st month, then 3% for the 2nd and 4.5% of the 3rd.

The country board hasn’t increased the salaries for the elected officials either. The committee suggested to freeze the salary of 7 board members and reduce the salary of the board chair. Schelden and other business owners are hoping the counties show some mercy and realize the business is not operating as usual.

What are Counties Doing about That?

Sandy Hart, the broad chair said, “We wish to do whatever we can to offer the residents help in these trying times. At the same time, we need to be mindful of unintended consequences to the services offered by government agencies.”

Property owners in McHenry County have been offered some form of relief. The country chair, Jack Franks has announced to waive payment fee and interest rate for up to 90 days. Unfortunately, this is the most help being offered in 6 counties of Illinois.

A business owner from DuPage County, Gena Karpf said that she was hoping homeowners would get some sort of relief. Karpf is a pastry chef in Naperville. She says her industry is hit hard. She owes $10,000 in property tax. Her next payment is due on June 1st and she doesn’t have any money to pay for it.

The finance committee in DuPage County held a meeting to discuss relief options. The county treasurer, Gwen Henry at the meeting said, “The board will wave penalties for ninety days for June 1st. The taxpayers won’t have to pay until September 1st.”

A lot of us are in the same boat. Deferments should understand what’s happening to the economy and how it’s affecting businesses around us. These reliefs don’t seem significant but taxpayers say they would take any form of ease. Let’s hope other counties in Illinois reconsider and offer more relief to taxpayers amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Rosie Harman

Rosie Harman is a senior content strategist, specializing in technology.

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