President Preckwinkle extends deadline for loan fund to address property tax delays
Hundreds of millions of dollars available to local governments
(Cook County, IL) — Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Thursday announced Cook County will extend the deadline of its Property Tax Bridge Fund Program to Friday, September 9, 2022, at 5 p.m. This will give interested local taxing bodies and governments an extra week to apply for hundreds of millions of dollars in no interest loans.
“Recognizing local governments are potentially facing financial challenges caused by the delay in property tax bills going out, we are extending the deadline to apply for this targeted and equitable financial assistance across Cook County,” President Preckwinkle said. “We are taking steps to help the communities most affected by delayed distributions and I encourage local taxing bodies to take advantage of this extended deadline.”
The Bridge Fund Program was launched at the beginning of August to offer local taxing jurisdictions a lower-cost borrowing option for local taxing bodies. Qualifying taxing bodies such as municipalities, park districts, schools, etc. have been able to apply for a short-term loan with the County.
Requirements for the program include participants needing to demonstrate they have less than four months (120 days) of cash on hand as well as a bond rating lower than the County’s. The County’s current ratings are “A2” from Moody’s, “A+” from S&P, and “AA-” from Fitch. If a local taxing jurisdiction does not have an up-to-date rating, then it will be assumed to be weaker than the County’s. Additionally, the County has been reviewing the average collection rates over the past three years of local taxing jurisdictions and using this information to target those that may be most in need.
Cook County Application Support
Over the last month, Cook County has been providing technical assistance and support for local taxing jurisdictions applying for these funds. In coordination with the County's Bureau of Technology, an informational website with sample documents, tutorials and frequently asked questions was developed as well as a secure online portal to streamline the application process. The County has also been providing additional information through weekly webinars and emails to potentially-eligible taxing bodies.
“This program has the potential to do a lot of good while providing financial breathing room for local governments experiencing a cash crunch,” Preckwinkle added. “By extending the deadline, more local governments across Cook County have extra time to access millions of dollars in no interest loans that can cover payroll, pay bills and provide much-needed services to our residents.”
The application window will close on September 9 at 5 p.m. with funds expected to go out in September 2022. Additional information and documents for local taxing bodies is available at cookcountyil.gov/bridgefund.