Pappas' Office Returns 'Christmas Gift' of More Than $20 Million to Taxpayers

Dec 23, 2010, 11:16 ET from Cook County Treasurer's Office

Some 7,000 Double Payments Intercepted Before They Were Accepted

CHICAGO, Dec. 23, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than $20 million has been returned to taxpayers by intercepting duplicate property-tax payments on their homes and other property before they were accepted, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas said today.

Pappas said many of the approximately 7,000 double payments were made erroneously by taxpayers who forgot or didn't know that their mortgage companies also were paying.

"When the taxpayer and the company both pay, the taxpayer has to file for a refund that our office has to process," Pappas said.  "We now can intercept those duplicate payments before they cause further trouble."

Pappas said her office designed STOPS to identify double payments made on a tax installment.  The program was activated for the one-month payment period for 2nd Installment bills for tax year 2010.  In the collection period ending December 13, some 7,000 duplicate payments worth more than $20 million were intercepted.

"In this economy, stopping people from making unnecessary payments is a Christmas gift," Pappas said, adding that STOPS would intercept future duplicate payments year-round.

SOURCE Cook County Treasurer's Office