Pappas, Arab Chamber tax refund program saves $89,000 at St. George Church
Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas has identified more than $100 million in property tax overpayments that can be refunded to property owners. Working with community organizations like the American Arab Chamber of Commerce and its president Hassan Nijem, the county has identified nearly $500,000 in tax overpayments that can be refunded. Pappas has been organizing on site refund workshops with all of the communities in Chicagoland
Nearly $90,000 was identified as property tax moneys that can be refunded to members of the St, George Antiochian Orthodox Church parish during a workshop held on Sunday at the church following religious services.
The Property Tax Refund program, a unique program initiated by Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, has returned nearly $500,000 in tax overpayments and unclaimed credits to date for Arab American property owners. The program is organized by the American Arab Chamber of Commerce and its board of trustees.
Pappas said that more than $100 million in property taxes can be refunded to property tax owners in Cook County and are the result of overpayments made by taxpayers on their properties and also through the failure to properly register for property tax exemptions.
Chamber President Hassan Nijem said that the program at St. George Church returned a significant amount of money to Arab American homeowners.
“Maria Pappas is a dynamo who is working so hard to ensure that in today’s world where costs have skyrocketed and prices are increasing that taxpayers only pay what they have to pay and not a penny more,” Nijem said after the successful refund workshop at St. George Church, 1220 S. 60th Court in Cicero, Illinois.
“We are so proud to work with Treasurer Maria Pappas to help return and refund money to our community. Pappas treats as as equals and includes the Arab and Muslim community in every possible way. She is fighting fore the rights of all taxpayers in Cook County. She is one of the hardest working and most dedicated public officials in Illinois and the Midwest.”
Nijem said that Pappas, members of her staff and volunteers help property tax owners to analyze their past payments reviewing exemptions and past payments.
“At every workshop that we have co-organized with Maria Pappas, we have identified tens of thousands of dollars that can be returned as payments to the property tax owners,” Nijem said.
“It is time consuming but when we can bring a large number of property tax owners together, we can quickly and efficiently identify the overpayments and complete the paperwork to claim the refunds. The money identified as being a refund amount is paid directly to the property owners. At the workshop at St. George Church, we identified $89,000 in overpayments that can be and will be returned.”
Anyone can go to the website of Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas and check their property taxes to determine if a refund is due. But the participation on-sight with Maria Pappas and her staff helps answer any questions taxpayers may have and the refund application process is completed all at one time.
The website is www.cookcountytreasurer.com.
Pappas told WLS TV recently that the idea came from treasurer Maria Pappas last year after her data revealed that more than 36,000 properties in Cook County were at risk of being sold due to unpaid property taxes.
“So, once a year when taxes have not been paid, they get sold at a tax sale. That date is November 5,” Pappas said. “They’re in huge jeopardy, because of the 36,000 parcels on the list, 75% are in Latino and African American neighborhoods … there’s something seriously wrong here.”
For more information on Maria Pappas’s tax refund program, visit www.cookcountytreasurer.com.
For information on the American Arab Chamber of Commerce, the only Arab Chamber in Chicagoland that actually works to help Arab businesses and has a track record of achievements to prove it, visit www.AACCUSA.org.
Click here to read more reports on the American Arab Chamber of Commerce campaign with Treasurer Maria Pappas to secure overpaid property taxes for Arab Americans.
Click here to read more on the refund campaign in the American Arab community.
Click here to read about how the American Arab Chamber fights for the rights of Arab businesses.
Nijem credited the support of the Chamber board that includes: Aminah Adnan, Alder Tareq Al Biter, Hana Abudayyeh, Radi Abuhashish, Abed Ayash, Mazen Dola, Ibrahim Fattah, Mahar Khattab, Samer Khatib, Saad Malley, Lena Matariyeh, Amna Mustafa, Amir Nijem. Mustapha is the former and first ever member of the Chicago Board of Education.
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