CITY HALL — Chicagoans eligible for a property tax rebate designed to ease the burden of last year's massive tax hike have another month to apply in person to get money back.
The decision to postpone the deadline until Dec. 30 is designed to ensure "that even more eligible working- and middle-class families are able to apply for a rebate in time for the holiday season," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement.
With the two-month program set to end Wednesday, city officials said only 7 percent of eligible Chicago homeowners had applied for the rebate, officials said.
The average rebate was $109, with a total of $1.2 million on its way back to homeowners, city officials said. The first checks will arrive in mailboxes this week, city officials said.
The program offers rebates of $25-$200 to homeowners based on the increase in the city's portion of their most recent property tax bill and their household income. Senior citizens who are longtime homeowners could qualify for an additional rebate.
When the effort was launched Oct. 1, city officials expected the rebate program would return $20 million to 155,000 households earning less than $75,000. The average rebate was expected to be $150, officials said.
Chicagoans must apply — in person — for a rebate on their property taxes at one of 26 locations, including City Hall, officials said. Applicants must appear in person for the rebate because of sensitive nature of the documents required, officials said.
The rebate is designed to help residents cope with a $589 million property tax hike — the largest tax increase in Chicago history — touted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel as the only way to fill the city's massive deficit and shore up pensions for police officers and firefighters.
To check whether you are eligible for the program, review the list of requirements.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here.