One day after congress passed tax reform, tens of thousands of Illinoisans raced to pay next year's property taxes now.
They're taking advantage of a very popular deduction that will disappear in the new year after President Trump signs the tax bill into law.
Owners of the luxury co-op units at 179 East Lake Shore Drive delivered one of the biggest checks to pre-pay property taxes: more than $819,000. It's a must-do for the well-to-do.
That new federal income tax law congress approved (without any public hearings) puts a $10,000 cap on the very popular deduction for state and local taxes, meaning people whose combined Illinois income tax and property tax bill exceeds ten grand may benefit by pre-paying now while the full deduction is still available.
The Cook County treasurer's office has already collected about $120 million from more than 17,000 early payers, about 20 times more pre-payments than in all of 2016.
Cook County allows pre-payments online, but only for the first half bill due March of 2018. No other county accepts money online.
But Will County is allowing pre-payment of up to two years in taxes.
The Lake County treasurer described an "avalanche" of pre-payments. But because of the holiday, they must be physically received by 4:30 p.m. next Thursday. A postmark by that date is not good enough.
At the Cook County treasurer’s office, they're considering whether to stay open late on New Year’s Eve for those who want to wait until the last possible moment to take advantage of that disappearing federal tax deduction.
The White House indicates President Trump won't sign the new tax law until January. That's so big budget cuts it automatically triggers are delayed until after next year's mid-term elections.