By Brad Edwards

CHICAGO (CBS) — For the first time in more than three decades, Cook County property owners will be getting their second installment tax bills on time.

CBS 2’s Brad Edwards reports, since 1978, second installment property tax bills have been due anywhere from early August to mid-December – more often than not, later in the year.

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That won’t be the case this year.

“Today we are delivering something that hasn’t been delivered in the past 34 years,” said Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Dan Patlak.

This year, property owners will get their second installment bills in the mail on time – by July 2 – and the bills will be due on Aug. 1.

Given how many years tax bills have been late, it’s not exactly good news for property owners.

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“If everything’s on a budget, then now you’re throwing an extra monkey wrench into the situation,” said homeowner Freddie Morris.

For decades, homeowners like Morris banked on a late due date.

But officials said getting tax bills out on time will help schools, police, parks, and more.

“This is an historic and positive accomplishment and everyone here worked tirelessly to make it happen,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Government agencies that rely on property tax dollars will now get their money on-time, and will in turn avoid losing big bucks in loan interest, meaning it will save taxpayers money. Normally, may local school districts and other government bodies would have to borrow money to tide them over until property tax revenue came in from the county.

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One local school district – Oak Park Elementary School District 97 – said the county’s ability to get property tax bills out on time – and therefore get the district its property tax funding on time – will allow the district to hire a new art teacher.

Brad Edwards