C.C. Hills to repay county $6.6M by 2015
BY CASEY TONER firstname.lastname@example.org September 12, 2013 7:56PM
Updated: October 15, 2013 7:23AM
Country Club Hills is scheduled to repay the $6.6 million that the Cook County treasurer’s office accidentally overpaid the city three years ago by 2015, officials said.
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Allen approved a lawsuit settlement in July that stipulates the city will repay the money in four installments. Court records show that the city repaid $4 million before Allen made his decision.
The problem began when Country Club Hills took out a $6.6 million short-term loan from Chase Bank in 2010 because Cook County was late in distributing the city’s share of property tax revenue.
The county repaid the bank loan in October 2011 with tax money due to the city but erred in also giving Country Club Hills $7.2 million in property tax revenue — failing to subtract the $6.6 million used to pay off the bank loan.
The Cook County state’s attorney’s office filed a lawsuit against the city in July 2012 seeking repayment of the money.
According to the settlement, the city will make its first $650,000 payment 60 days after Cook County issues its second installment of property tax bills for 2013. The second $650,000 payment is due 60 days after Cook County issues its first installment of property tax bills for 2014. The third $650,000 payment is due 60 days after Cook County issues its second installment of property tax bills for 2014. The remaining payment is due 60 days after Cook County issues its first installment of property tax bills for 2015.
Allen wrote that the payment schedule is “reasonable and will serve the best interests of the parties and their respective taxpayers.”
Country Club Hills Ald. Vincent Lockett (2nd) called the situation “unfortunate.”
“It’s a shame the taxpayers had to pay it back,” Lockett said. “The money came in mistakenly and it should have been returned.”
City officials previously said the $6.6 million was spent on the city’s daily operations.
Mayor Dwight Welch blamed overpayment on the office of Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas.
“That’s old music,” Welch said. “We’ve moved forward, and now we’re as strong as ever.”