Maria Pappas

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas (WBBM Newsradio)

Treasurer Asks: Have You Paid Your Taxes?

April 30, 2018 - 5:10 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Officials are warning that tens of thousands of people who owe delinquent property taxes could lose their homes in the annual Tax Sale that begins this Friday.

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas says there are more than 37,000 people whose property could be sold at auction over unpaid taxes starting May 4. And it’s not always a crushing amount. She says there are about 17,000 people who owe less than $1,000.

19th Ward Alderman Matt O’Shea is among the public officials, ministers and others trying to find, warn and help the people on that list. He says it could be devastating for communities if people lose their homes in tax sales, when they could have made things right. 

Fannie Taylor KaziAli got a warning letter from the treasurer’s office and said she had no idea she owed the money. She paid it.

Pappas says property owners sometimes don't get the letters warning them of their tax problems. And those who are sick or not very mobile may not even be able to retrieve and read their mail.   

If someone else buys their home out from under them, they have time to try to get it back. But Pappas points out taxes keep accruing, and the other person could pay them. Then, the interest can get very high for the original owners to try to make those payments up.  

Pastor Leslie Sanders of Hope Presbyterian Church is asking family members, other ministers and local officials to help find these people and help them save their homes.

Residents can go to or call the treasurer’s office, for help and guidance.