Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas said today her office has sent Chicago aldermen, Cook County commissioners and suburban township assessors lists of properties on which delinquent taxes are owed so that the elected officials can advise owners to pay the taxes or face having the taxes sold at the Scavenger Sale and possibly losing their properties.
Pappas also announced that property owners can log on to her office's website to determine whether their property is on the list of approximately 37,000 homes and plots of land that are to go to auction at the Scavenger Sale, the bi-annual sale of properties on which property taxes have been owed for at least two years, consecutive or not.
Pappas' office sent Chicago's 50 aldermen, Cook County's 17 commissioners and 30 suburban assessors lists broken down by ward, district and township so they can notify owners their taxes could be auctioned off at the Sale, to be held December 26, 2001, through January 16, 2002.
"City aldermen, county commissioners and suburban assessors have an interest in seeing troubled properties in the areas they represent returned to active tax rolls," Pappas said. "These lists allow them to see exactly where these properties are so that they can advise owners to pay back taxes or run the risk of losing their properties."
Owners who wish to check on properties they believe could be on the Scavenger Sale list can log onto www.cookcountytreasurer.com and click on "Search the Scavenger Sale list by PIN" to determine whether they owe back taxes and how much, Pappas said. The PIN is the Property Index Number that identifies each of Cook County's 1.6 million pieces of property.
An owner who enters a PIN and finds the property on the website can call the Treasurer's Office's Taxpayer Research Department (312) 603-6250 for further information. Delinquent taxes should be paid in person or by mail to the Treasurer's Office, 118 N. Clark St., Room 112, Chicago, 60602, by cashier's check, certified check, money order or cash before the date of the sale. Payment envelopes dated the day of the sale will be too late to keep the property from auction.
The Scavenger Sale is to begin at 8 a.m. on December 26 and continue until 4 p.m. each day it is held, through January 16, in Room B on the Lower Level of the County Administration Building at 69 W. Washington St., Chicago. Bids begin at $250, or half of the taxes due if less than $500, and rise in $50 increments. Increments become $100 when bids reach $1,000.
Winning bidders can go to court to claim ownership of property. Owners wishing to avoid losing the property must redeem (pay unpaid taxes and penalties).