Cook County offers emergency loans for struggling local governments


Preckwinkle said the modest $5 million in interest and management fees the county has to bear is worth it, as some units in high-poverty areas struggle to pay their bills in good times.

The program will allow governments to borrow between 50% and 100% of their deferred property taxes, depending on how much cash they have on hand. Qualifying governments must also have a bond rating at least one notch below the county’s A2 by Moody’s Investors Service, A+ by S&P, and AA- by Fitch Ratings.

The first checks go out in September.

“We are taking steps to assist tax authorities who are hardest hit by late distributions,” Preckwinkle said in a statement. “These property tax delays will disproportionately impact counties’ taxation in disinvested and low-income communities, making it important that we get this program underway and help our residents as soon as possible.”

Only government units in suburban Cook County are eligible, with preference given to those that are economically strained and provide essential services.

County Assessor Fritz Kaegi and the Board of Review, which hears appeals against proposed property valuations, have pointed fingers at each other and argued over which computer system should have been used in tax determination and related issues.

The full board is expected to consider the proposal next week.


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