Concerns raised about tax bills not delivered
by JASON MEREL
Some Jefferson Park and Mayfair residents who have not received the first installment of their property tax bill are concerned area seniors or those without access to a computer will face late fees if their bills are not delivered by end of the month and they just wait for it.
The Cook County Treasurer’s office recently announced that it mailed first installment property tax bills to 1.8 million county residents on Feb. 1 and that the bills are due March 1.
The treasurer’s office said that there were no irregularities that would have delayed the mailing and that bills were mailed to the entire county.
Many of the office’s services are available online at www.cookcountytreasurer.com and residents can pay their tax bill there, however the office understands that not everyone has access to or uses a computer.
The treasurer’s office said that that there is no appeal process for late fees since they are mandated by state law.
A spokesperson said the treasurer’s office has focused on outreach efforts to help seniors get exemptions they qualify for and said the office has not heard of any other issues with the mailing of the bills.
“Most of the people around me are seniors,” one Jefferson Park resident said while discussing her missing tax bill. “I don’t have a computer so I’d have to go find somebody to find it for me. And I’m sure there are a lot of other seniors that feel that way.”
The resident added that without a neighbor bringing it to her attention she would have just assumed the bill would come eventually.
Without the mailed tax bill or access to the Internet, the residents’ only other option is to visit the treasurer’s office downtown at 118 N. Clark Street, Unit 112, to pay in person.
“You talk to the post office, they blame (treasurer) Pappas, you talk to the treasurer’s office and they blame the post office,” a resident said. “So it’s a joke if you pay your own taxes and don’t pay them through your mortgage.”
An employee at the Jefferson Park post office declined to comment about any potential delivery issues.
Another resident said that she was able to pay her tax bill online and pointed out that this may be a local issue with either the individual mail carrier or a local post office and expressed concerns about later delivery times and gaps in service. Both residents mentioned a mail carrier that had been delivering their route for a number of years but recently retired.
“Our neighbor group has discussed the mail and all of us agree that it’s been arriving later lately,” the other resident said.
“I’d say it’s been more noticeable in the last month. There’s been a few days where we didn’t get any mail at all and we used to at least get junk mail.”
A Feb. 10 news release from the United States Post Office said that from Jan. 1 to Feb. 4 of this year, 86.1 percent of first class mail, 90.9 percent of marketing mail and 79.5 percent of periodicals were delivered on time nationwide.