The Following Property Tax Exemptions are Available to Residential Property Owners
The Homeowner Exemption for 2011 is now automatically renewed for property owners who received it in 2010. If you are not receiving your Homeowner Exemption, contact your local township assessor or county assessor to fill out the proper application. You must mail the completed form back to the County Assessor or return it to your local township assessor to receive your Homeowner Exemption. The Homeowner Exemption will reduce your EAV by $6,000 if you have resided at your property for the principal place of residence as of January 1 of the year in question. The Homeowner Exemption may also qualify you to receive the “Expanded Homeowner Exemption” (otherwise known as the 7% Cap) which can further reduce your EAV. The savings you receive in real dollars will be reflected on your second installment tax bill on the Homeowner Exemption line.
If you are 65 or older, you may apply for the Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption and reduce your EAV by $4,000 once approved. This exemption must be renewed each year.
If you qualify for the Senior Citizen Exemption and have a total household income of $55,000 or less, you may qualify for the Senior Freeze Exemption. The Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Exemption allows qualified Senior Citizens to apply for a freeze of the equalized assessed value (EAV) of their property. This freezes the Equalized Assessed Value at the level prior to the taxable year for which the applicant first applies and qualifies. For example, a senior citizen who applies and qualifies for this exemption in the taxable year 2010 will have the EAV of the property frozen at the 2009 EAV.
Those receiving this exemption should be aware that this does not automatically freeze the amount of their tax bill. Only the EAV remains at the fixed amount. The amount of dollars that the taxing district asks for (levy) and the tax rate will continue to effect calculation of the bill.
The Expanded Homeowner Exemption (AKA the 7% cap) limits your equalized assessed value from increasing more than 7% from year to year. The savings from this exemption is reflected on the Homeowner Exemption line of your second installment tax bill. Most property owners who are eligible for the Homeowner Exemption will also receive the Expanded Homeowner Exemption.
The Long-Time Occupant Exemption is an extension of the expanded homeowner exemption. You must meet all of the requirements for the homeowner exemption plus the following requirements in order to be eligible.
- You must have lived in the house for 10 years dating from January 1st.
- You must have a total gross household income of no more than $100,000 in the year prior to the property tax year in question.
The Returning Veterans Homestead Exemption provides a one-time $5,000 reduction in a property’s equalized assessed value (EAV) to qualifying veterans who return from active duty in an armed conflict involving the armed forces of the United States. To receive this exemption, the veteran must file an application upon their return home.
The Disabled Person’s Homestead Exemption provides a $2,000 reduction in a property’s equalized assessed value (EAV) to a qualifying property owned by a disabled person. A disabled person must file an annual application by the county’s due date to continue to receive this exemption.
The Disabled Veterans' Homeowner Exemption provides an annual reduction in the equalized assessed value (EAV) on the primary residence occupied by a disabled veteran on January 1 of the assessement year. The amount of the exemption each year depends on the percentage of the disabled veteran's service-connected disability as certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs. A disabled veteran with at least a 75% service-connected disability will receive an annual $5,000 reduction in EAV. A veteran with a 50% to 74% service-connected disability will receive an annual $2,500 reduction in EAV. A disabled veteran must apply for this exemption each year.
The Home Improvement Exemption encourages the expansion or renovation of homes by delaying taxation on up to $75,000 worth of improvements for at least four years. You do not have to apply for a Home Improvement Exemption. It will be given automatically. You will be eligible for the exemption after you apply for a building permit to improve your home.
The Senior Citizen Tax Deferral Program
Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Deferral Program allows qualified senior citizens to defer all or part of the taxes on their personal residence. It is, in effect, a form of "loan" which is to be repaid only upon the happening of one or two events: (1) the taxpayer's death (except in the case of a surviving spouse) or (2) sale of the property. In the event of death, the heirs (except surviving spouse) need not repay the deferred taxes until one full year after the taxpayer's death. The amount of deferred taxes is repayable at a rate of 6% simple (not compounded) interest. The idea behind the Program is to relieve senior citizens of the worry and financial burden of not being able to pay taxes on a home they have lived in for many years at the time in their lives when they are least able to afford rising taxes due to them being on a fixed and minimal income. Applications for this program must be received by the County Treasurer's office by March 1 of the tax year in question. Go to the Treasurer’s website at www.cookcountytreasurer.com, click on Services for Seniors and then click Senior Citizen Tax Deferral to print out an application.