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Tax bills hit mail boxes

First half property tax bills started arriving in mailboxes around Evanston today.

The annual property tax bill is split into two unequal installments. Homeowners have to pay 55 percent of the amount of their prior year's bill by March 1.

The second half bill arrives later, generally in the fall, and reflects assessment appeals and exemptions, as well as changes in the tax rate from year to year.

Taxpayers still need to apply each year for a senior exemption, senior freeze, and long-time owner exemptions. The senior exemption and senior freeze exemption applications will be mailed next week to taxpayers.

Township Assessor Bonnie Wilson says that homeowners who make payments to an escrow account with their mortgage company for taxes generally should not pay the bill received from the county treasurer's office — because that could result in a double-payment of the taxes.

But County Treasurer Maria Pappas suggests those residents visit the treasurer's website to confrm that the bank has made the payment.

Property owners who do not have mortgage companies paying their taxes can make tax payments in person, by mail, or online at the treasurer's website. In-person payments are accepted at the Cook County Treasurer's at 118 N. Clark St. in Chicago and at any Chase Bank in the Chicago area.

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