Ald. Derrick Curtis (18th Ward) finally has paid the property taxes on his Southwest Side home that were months overdue, after the Chicago Sun-Times reported he was delinquent.
More than 94 percent of Cook County taxpayers have paid the taxes that were due Aug. 1, and the first-term alderman is now among them, Cook County treasurer’s office records show.
The first-term Chicago City Council member and his wife used credit cards to pay the approximately $1,500 they owed on their home in Ashburn shortly after the Sun-Times posted a story online reporting he was months late, the records show.
Curtis had owed more than $1,000 for the second installment of his 2016 property taxes that were due Aug. 1 and also hadn’t paid hundreds of dollars more from the tax bill that was supposed to be paid in March.
“I do apologize,” Curtis said Tuesday. “It was a mistake on my part.”
The alderman said paying his property taxes “slipped my mind” until the Sun-Times contacted him last week because his duties — including attending funerals for victims of violence — kept him so busy.
“Every day, it’s something different,” said Curtis, who gets a $116,208 yearly salary as an alderman and formerly was 18th ward superintendent for the city’s Streets and Sanitation Department.
Curtis said he won’t make the same mistake again.
He also said he’s sorry that his tardy taxes might overshadow “a lot of good things” he said he’s doing in his ward.
“The only person I know who doesn’t make mistakes is God,” Curtis said. “I should have been paying more attention.”
Curtis had been the only member of the Chicago City Council who hadn’t paid the second-installment bill on his 2016 property taxes on time, records show.
His total yearly property-tax bill comes to a little over $2,200 a year.
Two Cook County commissioners — Republican Sean Morrison of Palos Park and North Side Democrat Bridget Gainer — also made good on delinquent tax bills recently after the Sun-Times reported they hadn’t made payments due months ago.