Cook County Treasurer Says Vacant And Abandoned Properties Are Sucking Up Tax Revenue, Wants To Make It Easier To Auction Them Off – CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) — 1000’s of deserted and vacant properties are costing Cook dinner County taxpayers billions in misplaced property tax income.

As CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reported Friday night time, efforts are below manner to assist get that cash again.

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They’re simply sitting there – vacant, typically dilapidated properties which have been deserted, or empty tons the place the buildings have been cleared away a technique or one other. These tons have unpaid taxes hooked up to them, and in keeping with Cook dinner County Treasurer Maria Pappas, it provides as much as $5 billion in misplaced property tax income.

That’s greater than a fifth of the present Cook dinner County funds.

“For those who take a look at these numbers, they’re scary,” Pappas stated.

So Pappas is making an attempt to get extra folks occupied with shopping for the properties. Each different yr, the county has a so-called scavenger sale – which quantities to an public sale of all properties with no less than three years of unpaid property taxes.

This yr, greater than 31,000 properties are on the public sale listing. Till now, anybody who needed a replica of that listing needed to fork over $250.

“So we scratched that,” Pappas stated.

It’s now free on the county Treasurer’s web site, together with an interactive map to make it simpler for potential consumers.

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“If extra individuals are on the tax sale roles; if extra folks pay more cash, the opposite individuals who already stay in homes could be paying much less,” Pappas stated. “So it is a query of financial growth.”

Maywood is one in every of a number of communities with dozens of properties on the listing. Its mayor applauds the Treasurer’s strikes. However waiving that $250 payment isn’t so simple as waving a magic wand – as a result of there’s a legislation requiring it.

“My authorized division checked out this, and I stated, ‘Can I waive this $250 payment?’” Pappas stated. “They usually stated sure.”

Public sale bids begin at $250. As soon as a property is bought, the unique proprietor has a set period of time to pay the again taxes.

If that doesn’t occur, the property goes to the scavenger purchaser, who pays the taxes.

“What you need to do is make it economically engaging for any individual to construct on it or to stay there,” Pappas stated.

The public sale will happen on the George W. Dunne Cook dinner County Workplace Constructing, 69 W. Washington St., over two weeks starting on Valentine’s Day. Every day, properties from particular cities and cities will eb auctioned off.

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You’ll be able to register on the Cook dinner County Treasurer’s web site.

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