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Auction of delinquent Cook County property taxes postponed indefinitely

3/25/2020, 12:31 p.m. | Updated on 3/25/2020, noon

Pappas: Auction of delinquent Cook County property taxes postponed indefinitely

Cook County Treasurer's Office - 3/24/2020

A Cook County Circuit Court Judge has postponed the Annual Tax Sale of delinquent properties scheduled to begin May 8, 2020, because of the spread of the new coronavirus, Treasurer Maria Pappas said today.

In an emergency motion, Pappas asked for the delay to protect the health and safety of Cook County residents in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The judge granted the motion, postponing the Tax Sale until the court orders the sale to proceed.

"Holding the Tax Sale under these circumstances would be unfair to tens of thousands of homeowners who are living paycheck-to-paycheck and face this pandemic" Pappas said.

There are more than 52,000 properties whose delinquent taxes would be sold to investors if the Tax Sale were held, Pappas said. Of those properties:

More than 30,000 are homes

More than 23,000 owe less than $1,000

About 2,000 are owned by senior citizens

Postponing the Tax Sale would delay payment of an estimated $48 million in property taxes that would have been collected during the sale. That's a fraction of the $14 billion the Cook County Treasurer’s Office collects each year.

The Treasurer's Office is required to put delinquent taxes up for auction, the first step in a legal process that can end with the loss of property if the taxes are not repaid. When it takes place, the Tax Sale will be for homes, businesses and land with unpaid bills for Tax Year 2018 (originally due in 2019).