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Why do we Pay Property Taxes in Arrears in Winnetka and the North Shore
A detailed discussion of Illinois property taxes could induce me to become inarticulate, crazed, and possibly jailed for spreading misinformation.  So I'll keep it simple because it's a question that is often asked by both buyers and sellers.
In Illinois, homeowners pay real estate property taxes in "arrears," which the dictionary defines as:
"the state of being behind or late, especially in the fulfillment of a duty , promise, obligation or the like."
So basically, our payments are always past due - but not in a negative way since the system was set up that way.
Illinois property owners receive two tax bills a year - generally one in the spring and one in the fall (although lately they have come earlier . . .)  The first bill is for the first part of the previous year (and is exactly 55% of the prior year's bill),  and the second installment is for the second part of the previous year.  
So what happens to these back taxes when the home is sold? That's when it gets confusing because obviously, a new owner of a home does not want to pay property taxes for the period they didn't live there.  
Assume that a buyer closes on a ... more

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