Within the last two weeks, the Cook County Assessor has issued decisions and certified 2021 assessments in eight townships. Some of these townships saw their initial assessments published as long as eight months ago. That includes West Chicago Township, which was initially published on July 21, 2021, and Maine Township, which was initially published on July 23, 2021.
It is unclear when the Assessor will complete work on assessments in the ten townships that have yet to be certified, but even if the process concludes tomorrow, it will be the latest that a Cook County Assessor has certified assessments in recent memory.
Over the last six years, the Assessor typically concluded the entire certification process by late fall. By contrast, the Assessor did not certify any 2021 assessments until November 15, 2021. Only after the Assessor certifies values can the Cook County Board of Review begin to accept appeals. Due to the Assessor’s delay in certification, the Board has yet to issue any decisions as of April 4, 2022.
The ramifications of the Assessor’s delay of assessment certification are many. The Board of Review will likely face political pressure to conclude its appeal process quickly, and second installment tax bills are almost certain to be issued late. Between 2015 and 2020, the Board of Review took either five or six months from the date of its first decision to its last. With that timeline as a reference and adding in the time necessary for the Cook County Clerk and Cook County Treasurer to process tax rates and tax bills, it is possible that second installment 2021 tax bills could be issued as late as November 2022 with payment due in December or later.
Such a late start to the tax collection process may force taxing bodies to issue tax anticipation notes and pay interest as they wait for tax revenue to arrive. Taxpayers should anticipate paying first installment 2022 bills, which will likely be due in February 2023, soon after paying second installment 2021 bills.
Stay tuned as this process unfolds.