Property owners in Cook County may have the opportunity to take advantage of a variety of property tax exemptions, resulting in savings on their property tax bill. Savings from these exemptions appear as deductions on the second installment property tax bills mailed in the summer.

Residents applying for the Homeowner Exemption, the Senior Citizen Exemption, the Senior Freeze Exemption, and the Home Improvement Exemption must apply annually to receive the deduction on their property tax bills.

Property Tax Exemptions

HOMEOWNER EXEMPTION

Residents are eligible to receive the Homeowner Exemption if they own or have a lease or contract which makes them responsible for the real estate taxes of the residential property. In addition, it must also be used as their principal place of residence for the property tax year in question.

If the resident purchased a newly constructed home that was not ready for occupancy until sometime after January 1 of the tax year, the exemption will be prorated.

Residents are eligible to receive the Homeowner Exemption if they own or have a lease or contract which makes them responsible for the real estate taxes of the residential property. In addition, it must also be used as their principal place of residence for the property tax year in question.

If the resident purchased a newly constructed home that was not ready for occupancy until sometime after January 1 of the tax year, the exemption will be prorated.

SENIOR CITIZEN EXEMPTION

To qualify for the Senior Citizen Exemption, the property owner must:

  • be 65 years or older during the tax year for which they are applying;

  • own the property or have a lease contract which makes them responsible for the real estate taxes; and

  • used the property as their principal place of residence for the tax year.

If the applicant has moved or plans to move in the future, they may be entitled to a prorated Senior Citizen Exemption, based on the time of occupancy. To apply for a prorated Senior Citizen Exemption, the applicant must submit a

  • Senior Citizen Exemption application form;

  • closing or settlement statement;

  • copy of a recent property tax bill; and

  • copy of proof of age and residency.

SENIOR FREEZE EXEMPTION

To qualify for the Senior Freeze Exemption for Tax Year 2018, the taxpayer must:

  • be 65 years or older during the tax year for which they are applying;

  • have a total household income of $65,000 or less for [income] Tax Year 2017;

  • have owned the property or had a legal, equitable, or leasehold interested in the property on January 1, 2017 and January 1, 2018;

  • have used the property as their principal place of residence as of January 1, 2017 and January 1, 2018; and

  • been liable for payment of 2017 and 2018 property taxes

Those who don’t qualify for the Senior Freeze Exemption because they exceed the income level may still be eligible for the Senior Exemption. The Senior Exemption has no income restrictions.

Seniors receiving the Senior Citizen Exemption will automatically receive the Homeowner Exemption. Seniors receiving the Senior Freeze Exemption automatically receive both the Homeowner and Senior Citizen Exemptions.

Eligible seniors who never applied for the Senior and/or Senior Freeze Exemption in the past may visit the Assessor’s website and download an application or contact the Assessor’s Office at (312) 443-7550 and request a form be mailed to them. Applications for the Homeowner Exemption and additional exemptions are also available online.

DISABLED VETERANS

HOMEOWNER EXEMPTION

Veterans with a service-connected disability, as certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, are eligible to receive an annual exemption.

To qualify, the veteran must be:

  • an Illinois resident who served as a member of the United States Armed Forces on active duty to State active duty, a member of the Illinois National Guard or U.S. Reserve Forces and has been honorably discharged;

  • have at least a 30% service connected disability certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs;

  • own and occupy the property as the primary residence during the tax year in question;

  • have a total Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) of less than $250,000 for the primary residence, excluding the EAV of property used for commercial purposes or rented for more than six (6) months; and

  • apply for the exemption each tax year

A non-remarried surviving spouse of a disabled veteran may continue to receive this exemption if the same primary residence remains for the surviving spouse. Additionally, the non-remarried surviving spouse may transfer the exemption amount (or less) to a new primary residence.

The Disabled Veterans Homeowner Exemption is administered through the Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs. They can be reached at 312-814-2460.

HOME IMPROVEMENT EXEMPTION

The Home Improvement Exemption allows the property owner to increase the value of their home with up to $75,000 worth of improvements without having their property taxes increase for at least four years.

The exemption is available to owners of single-family homes, condominiums, cooperatives, and apartment buildings with up to six units. The exemption will automatically be received based on field checks for building permits conducted by the Cook County Assessor’s office. The Cook County Assessor will send a notice to property owners after they complete the check.

Office Hours*:

Monday: 9 am - 5 pm

Tuesday: 9 am - 5 pm

Wednesday: 9 am - 5 pm

Thursday: 9 am - 5 pm

Friday: 9 am - 5 pm

Ward Service Office:

1447 W. Morse Ave

Chicago, IL 60626

office@49thward.org

773-338-5796

*Please note the physical office remains

closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Our staff is working virtually from home

and is happy to answer calls and emails.

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