Cook County property owners, when eligible, may take advantage of a variety of property tax exemptions to reduce their property tax bill. Savings will appear as deductions on the second installment property tax bills mailed during the summer.
Residents applying for Homeowner Exemption, Senior Citizen Exemption, Senior Freeze Exemption, or Home Improvement Exemption must apply annually to receive the deduction.
Cook County homeowners may reduce their tax bills by hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year by taking advantage of the Homeowner Exemption.
Exemptions reduce the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) of your home, which is multiplied by the tax rate to determine your tax bill. Homeowner Exemption reduces the EAV of your home by $10,000 starting in the previous tax year and payable in the current tax year.
Exemptions are reflected on the Second Installment tax bill. To check the exemptions you are receiving, go to Your Property Tax Overview.
Taxpayers whose primary residence is a single-family home, townhouse, condominium, co-op or apartment building (up to six units) are eligible.
First-time applicants must have been the occupants of the property as of January 1 of the tax year in question. The Cook County Assessor’s Office automatically renews Homeowner Exemptions for properties that were not sold to new owners in the last year.
SENIOR CITIZEN EXEMPTION
Cook County retirees and other older homeowners may reduce their tax bills by hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year by taking advantage of the Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption.
Exemptions reduce the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) of your home, which is multiplied by the tax rate to determine your tax bill. The Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption reduces the EAV of your home by $8,000 starting in the previous tax year and payable in the current tax year.
To receive the Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption, the applicant must have owned and occupied the property as of January 1 and must have been 65 years of age or older during the tax year in question.
SENIOR FREEZE EXEMPTION
Retirees and other older homeowners on fixed incomes may reduce their tax bill by taking advantage of the Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Exemption.
Exemptions reduce the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) of your home, which is multiplied by the tax rate to determine your tax bill. The senior freeze exemption works this way:
Eligible senior citizens automatically receive a reduction of at least $2,000 in the EAV of their homes.
Over time, this program may result in taxes changing minimally or sometimes decreasing as surrounding properties continue to rise in assessed value.
To apply for the senior freeze exemption, the applicant must:
Be a senior citizen with an annual household income of $65,000 or less.
Have owned and occupied the home on January 1, the year prior and January 1, of the current tax year and have been responsible for the previous year's and current year's taxes to be eligible for the current Tax Year (payable in the following year).
Former members of the military with a service-connected disability that is certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs may be eligible for the Disabled Veterans Standard Homestead Exemption for their primary residence. This annual exemption reduces the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) of a disabled veteran’s home, likely lowering the total tax bill. Surviving spouses who have not remarried are also eligible.
Veterans with a certified disability of:
30-49% can qualify for a $2,500 EAV reduction.
50-69% can qualify for $5,000 EAV reduction.
70% or more now can qualify for a 100% tax exemption.
A new state law has eased the requirements for eligibility. Public Act 100-0869, which goes into effect for Tax Year 2018 (payable in 2019), says:
Veterans now may apply for the exemption at any time of the year and the tax benefits will be prorated, starting with the first complete month in which the veteran lives in the home.
Under the previous law, veterans were not eligible unless they occupied the home on January 1 of the Tax Year.
Under the previous law, if disabled veterans receiving the exemption moved in the middle of the year, then they could not receive the exemption on their new home until they reapplied the next year.
HOME IMPROVEMENT EXEMPTION
Homeowners can make up to $75,000 worth of property improvements without an increase in property taxes for at least four years. The value varies depending on the reduction of the assessed value and the tax rates where the property is located. Any exemption that is granted will be reflected on the Second Installment tax bill.