On Tuesday (County offices are closed Monday for Casimir Pulaski Day), the first installment of Cook County property taxes is due.
In Cook County, property taxes are paid twice a year. The first deadline is March 1, unless that falls on a weekend or holiday.
The second deadline is - well, the Cook County treasurer's Web site says, "The second installment due date varies." That could be shortened to one word, though: whenever.
Going back to 1974, the second date has been set on Sept. 1 or sooner just 14 times. And it's only happened once since 1995. Every other year, tax bills have been late.
It's a cumbersome process. Before the second bill goes out, time must be set aside for new assessed values to be set, assessment appeals to be heard, exemptions to be decided, the state equalization factor to be calculated and, finally, the calculation of tax rates for various taxing districts.
In the last 15 years, the second deadline has fallen in September three times, in October three times, in November seven times and in December twice, including last year's deadline of Dec. 2. With the exception of 2006, the pattern has been for later and later tax bills.