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Cook County treasurer trying to shrink tax sale list

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas says nearly 57,000 properites may be auctioned for delinquent taxes May 3. | Sun-Times file photo

Nearly 57,000 properties could be auctioned in the annual Cook County tax sale on May 3 if owners don’t catch up on their property taxes.

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas on Wednesday made an appeal to shrink the tax sale list.

“I am asking religious leaders, community groups and elected officials to use these lists to see if they know any of the homeowners … and alert them about the tax sale,” Pappas said in a news release. “With their help, we will get many homes off the tax sale list.”

The treasurer’s office said $189.6 million is owned on 56,976 properties. The tax sale is for homes, businesses and land with unpaid property taxes due in 2018.

Property owners may avoid the tax sale by paying delinquent taxes and interest before the sale begins.

Among the properties headed for the tax sale:
• Tax bills and notices have been returned by the Postal Service for nearly 21,000 properties
• $1,000 or less is owed on about 22,000 properties
• Over 2,000 homes are probably owned by senior citizens
• As many as 900 seniors would get their properties off the sale list if they had applied for property tax exemptions