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Cook County Treasurer Comments on Real Estate Tax Scavenger Sales and the Cook County Land Bank

Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune:

"County Treasurer Maria Pappas is out with a new report that concludes the 81-year-old program isn’t working. Not enough people are bidding on the properties, she says, and so the parcels often remain eyesores, a deterrent to revitalizing the neighborhoods they blight. That especially hurts struggling Black city neighborhoods and south suburbs, Pappas notes. 'Nobody wants these properties because they are in areas that are losing population, have high crime and aren’t worth the property taxes you have to pay to own them,' said Pappas, who conducts the sales as directed in state law. 'So people abandon them.'"

It would seem that the primary problem is that properties in these areas are so over-assessed that no one bids on them at the annual sale and even scavenger sale bidders realize it is not worth proceeding to deed when they have to pay all of the subsequent years' taxes in full. A possible solution is to change the requirement for payment of subsequent years' taxes in full and/or shortening the redemption period for scavenger sales on certain categories of properties.

Click here to read the Chicago Tribune article.


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