Cook County’s No Cash Bid Program Advances

Communities seek tax delinquent properties to return them to productive use

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced that many of the 37 taxing districts participating in Cook County’s No Cash Bid Program have started to receive their Certificates of Purchase.

The program is one of the Cook County’s economic development tools that assists municipalities and other taxing bodies acquire tax delinquent property for reuse as private development or for tax-exempt municipal use.

The certificates will allow the communities to petition the Circuit Court of Cook County in order to possibly receive a tax deed on the particular properties they are seeking.

By assisting the municipalities in acquiring Certificates of Purchase, the County is helping to revive select areas with new housing and business ventures, said Cook County Commissioner Deborah Sims, 5th District, who chairs the County Board’s Finance Tax Delinquency Subcommittee. These projects potentially generate property and sales tax revenues from parcels that were drains on municipal resources.

“Working with local units of government on economic development initiatives is a key function of Cook County government and I am pleased to see such a dramatic increase in the number of agencies taking advantage of the No Cash Bid program,” Preckwinkle said. “These redevelopment projects provide value to their communities while also returning property to productive use.”

In the 2015 program, six municipalities and one park district, of the 37 requesting taxing districts, submitted No Cash Bid request packages for the first time. In total, 739 property identification numbers (PINs) were requested and 577 PINs were approved for No Cash Bid purchase.

For the 2015 program year, use as the commercial and industrial redevelopment accounted for 72 percent of the PINs approved. Residential and residential/commercial redevelopment was 19 percent of the overall requests. Other intended uses included commercial/industrial/residential combined with projects such as water retention, flood control, parking, right-of-way, and community open space and parkland.

“The No Cash Bid program is one of the best tools that Cook County has to partner with local municipalities to encourage economic development and address foreclosures in our communities,” said Commissioner Sims. “We’ve worked hard over the past several years to make participating in the program even easier and I’m grateful to see that our efforts are paying off.”

Many of Cook County’s current Neighborhood Stabilization Program homes were built on land acquired through this program. More than half of the 135 municipalities in Cook County have participated in the No Cash Bid process.

Among intended projects in the current No Cash Bid program are:

  • Village of Flossmoor – Located within a tax increment financing district in the southwest area of the Village, four properties, along with other vacant land parcels recently acquired, to promote the overall commercial redevelopment of more than 80 acres. Currently, Meijer is constructing one of its superstores, which includes a gas station and convenience store, and will work with the Village to fill the four to five outlots with restaurants.
  • Village of Sauk Village – 14 properties for residential and commercial development along with public use for park/open space/playground and possible public works.
  • Village of Streamwood – One property to merge with the surrounding six acres of Village-owned land in order to promote commercial or industrial redevelopment, or for cooperative intergovernmental use with park district and/or library district.
  • Village of Wheeling – In order to assist in the commercial and residential development of nearby parcels, the Village is seeking overgrown vacant land parcels which contain a creek in need of maintenance – an area for which local police say they receive many complaints.