CHICAGO (CBS) – Tears of job, sighs of relief – and of all places, in the Cook County Treasurer’s Office.
That is what CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker found when she stopped by the government office and talked to homeowners just days away from the deadline to pay their property taxes.
Every clerk was busy Thursday at the Cook County Treasurer’s Office.
It was non-stop activity for one simple reason – individuals do not want to lose their homes.
Homeowners like Beverly Williams came with cash on Thursday to pay their property taxes before Monday’s deadline.
CBS: How did you come up with the money at the last minute?
“By the grace of God,” Williams said. “We just got lucky and people came through and helped us out.”
The $2,000 tax bill was due last August on Williams’ West Garfield home.
She is one of nearly 50,000 property owners who are delinquent and risk investors paying their taxes, which is the first step towards losing their homes.
“I had to be here today,” said Joe Jones, Jr. “I had to. I waited too long already.”
Jones Junior owned two years of back taxes. He paid $6,000.
“This is a big burden dropped off my shoulders,” Jones, Jr. said. “I’m very happy today.”
There were many happy property owners in the office on Thursday, even tears of joy when Philanthropist, Willie Wilson first announced he was loaning nearly 200 people money to pay their taxes, and then added they would not have to repay him.
Judy Mitchell received the gift to pay the $995 in taxes on the townhouse her mom bought more than 40 years ago.
“This is another blessing,” Mitchell said. “For him to say we did not have to pay the money back. You know how many people are happy to keep their houses.”
Although the deadline to pay delinquent taxes is Monday, state lawmakers are working on an extension.
A proposed bill passed the house moving the deadline to May. The bill is on its way to the Senate.
Tardy homeowners will be paying close attention to that bill.