What Happens if I am late paying my taxes?
By Illinois State Law, failure to receive a tax bill or receiving a bill late, for any reason, does not relieve the taxpayer from taxes or late penalties. If you do not receive a tax bill you should contact the Treasurer’s Office.
You will only receive one tax bill per year. The bill has two payment coupons. Separate bills are NOT mailed for the second installment.
Illinois Statutes require 1 ½% per month (or part of the month) penalty be assessed for payments made after the due date. If taxes are not paid after the second installment date, in addition to penalty, additional fees may be added. Even if the payment is made one day late, the 1 ½% penalty applies.
Once the Treasurer’s Office has finished posting all payments made for the second installment, in accordance with State Law, a delinquent notice will be mailed to the name and address the tax bill was mailed for each delinquent property. A cost of $10 is added to the taxes and penalty to offset the cost of mailing the notice by certified mail and newspaper publication. The Treasurer must also publish a list of the owner’s name, parcel number, and amount due in a newspaper in the county. The purpose of the publication is not to embarrass the owner, but to notify the owner of delinquent tax.
The Treasurer is required by law to apply to the court and sell any unpaid taxes at the annual tax sale. At the tax sale a group of bidders called “tax buyers” compete to purchase the taxes (not the property) in exchange for certificate of tax purchased (similar to a lien). At the tax sale the tax buyers are bidding an interest percentage beginning at 18% and bidding downward. The tax buyer bidding the least amount of interest is awarded the bid.
After the tax sale, the property owner has a period of time to “redeem” the taxes on their property. The Statute provides for different redemption periods according to use. An owner occupied property is usually given at least 30, but not more than 36 months to redeem the taxes. Redemption of sold taxes takes place in the County Clerk’s Office. The redemption amount would include the original amount of taxes sold, penalty, publication cost, tax sale costs, any other costs incurred by the tax buyer and interest. Interest is bid up to 18% compounded every six months.