Cook County Local Government Bridge Funding Program

2023 NACo Achievement Award Winner

Cook County, Ill., IL

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About the Program

Category: Financial Management (Best in Category)

Year: 2023

The collection and distribution of Cook County property tax revenues was delayed by four months last year, disproportionally impacting disinvested taxing districts and subsequently residents in low- income communities. Understanding local taxing jurisdictions could potentially experience temporary short-term operational cash flow issues, Cook County created the Property Tax Bridge Funding Program to provide streamlined and transparent access to no-interest loans. To our knowledge this was a first-of-its-kind approach to this issue. In total, Cook County provided $40 million in Bridge Fund assistance to over 20 government bodies. Due to limited resources, loan distributions were prioritized starting with an equity lens. Local taxing districts that were determined to be most in need were given priority. Additionally, taxing districts providing vital services were prioritized. The County spearheaded expansive outreach to hundreds of taxing bodies that included twice weekly informational newsletters, emails, and follow-up phone calls. The County’s Bureau of Technology created a streamlined and secure application portal, at https://, allowing local taxing jurisdictions to submit applications and supporting documents for the Bridge Fund Program. A helpful presentation walking through the process was also created as was a webinar detailing the application process.

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