CHICAGO, Aug. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A program to avoid duplicate property tax payments has handed back $32.3 million to property owners this year, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas said today.
The Stop Taxpayer Over-Payment System (STOPS) automatically returns a second tax payment on a property. Nearly 6,100 double payments were prevented in 2017.
"The program has been helpful to property owners by letting them avoid seeking a refund," Pappas said. "STOPS also has allowed us to reduce our staff, which saves money for all taxpayers."
The STOPS program helps taxpayers who have forgotten that they have already paid their taxes. Sometimes, it prevents married couples from paying the taxes separately. More often the program comes into play when two mortgage companies try to pay the same tax bill.
Since STOPS began in 2009, more than 72,000 double payments have been avoided. A total of $306.2 million in duplicate payments have been returned.
If a payment is stopped, it can be resubmitted only if the second payer is legally responsible for the payment. In that case, the first payer is authorized to receive a refund.
In addition, the Treasurer's Office this year also reduced about 900 checks to the amounts actually due, preventing overpayments totaling $206,000.
SOURCE Cook County Treasurer's Office