2021 Property Tax Assistance

First Installment Cook County property tax bills are available at cookcountytreasurer.com. They are due March 2, 2021, but payment can be made any time before May 3 without accruing any late fees or penalties. Note that exemptions are not applied to your first installment bill.

馃搶 Looking for exemption applications? Note that many will auto-renew. If you are a first-time applicant, we encourage you to apply online

 

Exemptions for Homeowners

My exemptions are not listed on my first-installment bill I just received. Why?

How do I remove my Homeowner Exemption from my property?

How can I report an erroneous exemption?

Assessment and Appeal Questions

Can I file an appeal when I receive my first-installment tax bill?

I have an appeal currently being processed. Should I pay the bill I just received?

My property's assessed value decreased last year. Why didn't my tax bill?

Exemption Requirements and Application Process

I recently moved. How can I apply for exemptions for tax year 2020?

Which of my exemptions last year are being automatically renewed in 2020?

What are the requirements for the Homeowner Exemption?

What are the requirements for the Senior Exemption?

What are the requirements for the Senior Freeze Exemption?

What are the requirements for the Longtime Occupant Exemption?

What are the requirements for the Homestead Exemption for Veterans with Disabilities?

What are the requirements for the Homestead Exemption for Persons with Disabilities?

What are the requirements and application procedures for the Returning Veterans Exemption?

What are the requirements and application procedures for the Home Improvement Exemption?

How can I apply for an exemption for a prior tax year?

Treasurer鈥檚 Office Questions

I did not receive my tax bill. What do I do?

My name and/or mailing address is wrong on my tax bill. How do I get this corrected?

Why is the Treasurer sending me more than one tax bill?

I have two PINs for my property and think I am being charged twice.

Questions about Increases in Your Tax Bill

Why did my first-installment tax bill increase?

Property PIN and Classification Questions

I do not know my Property Index Number (PIN). How can I obtain it?

I would like more information regarding my property鈥檚 classification.

Verifying Ownership, Lien and Foreclosure Info

I need to verify ownership of a piece of property, if it has foreclosed, or if there has been a lien. What office should I call?

Payment by Legal, Legal Description Questions, Plat of Survey

My parcel has not been assigned its own PIN yet. How do I pay my tax bill based on my legal description?

How do I obtain a plat of survey for my property?

I need to verify ownership of a piece of property, if it has foreclosed, or if there has been a lien. What office should I call?

Incorrect Property Description on Tax Bill

How do I get my property location corrected?

Office Information

Office Locations and Contact Information

 

Treasurer鈥檚 Office Questions

I did not receive my tax bill. What do I do?

The Cook County Treasurer's Office mails tax bills and collects payments.

First Installment Cook County property tax bills are available at cookcountytreasurer.com so that property owners can make payments before the end of this year or plan their finances for 2021, according to Treasurer Maria Pappas.

They are due March 2, 2021, but payment can be made any time before May 3 without accruing any late fees or penalties.

Remember: exemptions are not applied to first-installment tax bills. They are applied to second-installment tax bills.

For tax information and/or a copy of your bill, you must contact the Cook County Treasurer's Office at 312-443-5100 or visit their website at:

www.cookcountytreasurer.com

 

My name and/or mailing address is wrong on my tax bill. How do I get this corrected?

When you buy or sell your home, the name and mailing address on the tax bill and assessment correspondence is not automatically changed. If your attorney or agent does not do this during the closing process, you must submit a name/address change application to the Cook County Treasurer鈥檚 Office at 312-443-5100. You may also correct this online at:

www.cookcountytreasurer.com

 

Why is the Treasurer sending me more than one tax bill?

Always check the PIN on your bill against the PIN(s) on your sale or mortgage documents to make sure that the bill matches the property that you own.

There are two reasons a home may receive more than one tax bill:

  • First, it is not uncommon for a residence to sit on more than one parcel of land, each with its own Property Index Number (PIN). A bill is issued for each PIN. If your home straddles two PINs, then the home value will be split between the PINs.
     
  • Second, if you live in a condominium, it is quite common for your garage to be assigned its own PIN. This is a choice made by your condominium association. In this case, you will receive a tax bill for each PIN (of course, the tax bill for your garage will be much less than the tax bill for your residence).

I have two PINs for my property and think I am being charged twice.

Your property may be prorated over two parcels. This does not mean you are paying more in taxes; it simply means that your home straddles two parcels and a portion of the assessed value is spread over those two parcels. This results in two separate Property Index Numbers (PINs) but no added tax liability. You may find more information about consolidating your PINS here: https://www.cookcountyassessor.com/divisions.

Please Note: Filing a consolidation will not affect or reduce the amount of your overall assessment of your property, or your taxes due.

 

Exemptions

My exemptions are not listed on my first-installment bill I just received. Why?

First-installment bills do not list exemptions or changes to your property鈥檚 assessment (whether from an appeal or, in 2020, a COVID-19 adjustment).  The first-installment tax bill is by law, 55% of the total taxes paid the previous year. Any changes in assessment from last year, and all exemptions, will appear on your second installment tax bill issued in summer.

How do I remove my Homeowner Exemption from my property?

Please visit this link to complete an online Exemption Waiver.

https://www.cookcountyassessor.com/form-document/homeowner-exemption-waiver-remove-exemption

Do I need to send this Certificate of Error Recommended Tax Bill to my mortgage company?

No. You are all set. Your mortgage company automatically receives the adjusted tax bill amount from the Cook County Treasurer's Office before they make a payment.

How can I report an erroneous exemption?

You can anonymously report erroneous exemptions at the following link on the Assessor鈥檚 website:

http://whistleblowing.cookcountyassessor.com

Exemption Requirements and Application Process

I recently moved. How can I apply for exemptions for tax year 2020?

The Cook County Assessor鈥檚 Office will send applications directly to tens of thousands of new homeowners who purchased their property before January 1, 2020. If you are one of these new homeowners, and our Office has received data about your home purchase, your application should arrive in the mail in March 2021, or you can apply online.

Please Note: If you received the Homeowner Exemption on your second installment bill last year and your residency did not change, you do not have to reapply. You will continue to receive the benefits of the exemption each year.

Which of my exemptions last year will be automatically renewed in 2020?

Due to COVID-19, the Illinois legislature took action to allow the Cook County Assessor to automatically renew the following exemptions for taxable year 2020, for homeowners who received them last year (taxable year 2019):

  • Senior Freeze Exemption
  • Homestead Exemption for Persons with Disabilities
  • Homestead Exemption for Veterans with Disabilities

The above one-year renewals are in addition to the automatic annual renewal of the Homeowner Exemption and the Senior Exemption.

The Cook County Assessor鈥檚 Office will send a letter to homeowners with the list of exemptions that will be automatically renewed. Tens of thousands of renewal confirmation letters will be mailed in early February 2021.

Read more about the legislative change here: https://www.cookcountyassessor.com/news/automatic-renewal-3-property-tax-exemptions-2021-due-covid-19

What are the requirements for the Homeowner Exemption?

All exemptions appear on second-installment tax bills issued in summer. To qualify for the Homeowner Exemption this year (tax year 2020):

  • you occupied the property as of January 1, 2020, and
  • you used the property as a principal place of residence, and
  • you have been responsible for payment of the property taxes.

If you received the Homeowner Exemption on your tax bill last year and your residency does not change, you do not need to reapply for the exemption and will continue to receive it on your tax bill each year. New applicants can apply here.

 

What are the requirements for the Senior Exemption?

To qualify for the Senior Exemption this year (tax year 2020) you must have:

  • been born prior to or in the year 1955,
  • owned the property, or have a lease or contract which makes you responsible for the real estate taxes, and
  • used the property as a principal place of residence.

All exemptions appear on second-installment tax bills. 

The law now states that if you received the Senior Exemption on your tax bill last year and your residency did not change, you do not need to reapply for the exemption and will continue to receive it on your tax bill each year. New applicants can apply here.

 

What are the requirements for the Senior Freeze Exemption?

All exemptions appear on second-installment tax bills.  To qualify for the Senior Freeze Exemption this year (tax year 2020) you must have:

been born prior to or in the year 1955, 

a total household income of $65,000 or less for income tax year 2019,

owned the property or had a legal, equitable or leasehold interest in the property on January 1, 2019 and January 1, 2020,

used the property as a principal place of residence as of January 1, 2019 and January 1, 2020, and

been liable for the payment of 2019 and 2020 property taxes.

An annual application is usually required for the Senior Freeze Exemption. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this exemption will automatically renew this year for those who received it last year. No renewal is needed this year. First-time applicants for tax year 2020 can apply here.

What are the requirements for the Longtime Occupant Exemption?

The Longtime Occupant Homeowner Exemption enables you to receive an expanded Homeowner Exemption with no maximum exemption amount.  Requirements for the Longtime Occupant Homeowner Exemption for tax year 2020 state that you must have:

owned and occupied your residence from January 1, 2010 to January 1, 2020,

a total household income of $100,000 or less, and

an assessment increase for your property that was significant enough to exceed the maximum amounts set by the state legislature.

Applications are mailed in late February to those properties that may qualify. Annual application is required.

Please note: Of the over 1.5 million residential properties in Cook County, only less than two percent (2%) qualified for the Longtime Occupant Homeowner Exemption last year. This is due to the way the state legislature wrote the provision and the requirements they put in place in order to qualify.

Simply put, would-be savings from the Longtime Occupant Exemption would have to exceed the savings from the Standard Homeowner Exemption in order for a homeowner to qualify. This does not happen for more than 98% of residences in Cook County.

Assessor Kaegi wants all homeowner/occupants to receive the maximum exemption savings to which they are entitled. If the Assessor鈥檚 Office calculates that the Longtime Occupant Homeowner Exemption would provide the most savings for a home, we mail an application for it in March. If you wonder if an application should have been mailed to you, please call our office at 312-443-7550 and we will double-check which exemption(s) will provide you the most savings.

 

What are the requirements for the Homestead Exemption for Veterans with Disabilities?

To qualify for the Homestead Exemption for Veterans with Disabilities this year (tax year 2020) you must:

  • be an Illinois resident who served as a member of the United States Armed Forces on active duty or state active duty, a member of the Illinois National Guard or U.S. Reserve Forces and have been honorably discharged,
  • occupy the property as the primary residence in 2020,
  • have a primary residence with an Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) of less than $250,000, excluding the EAV of property used for commercial purposes or rented for more than six months, and
  • have at least a 30% service-connected disability certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

An annual application is usually required for this. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this exemption will automatically renew this year for those who received it last year. No renewal is needed this year. Newly eligible veterans can apply here.

What are the requirements for the Homestead Exemption for Persons with Disabilities?

This exemption provides persons with disabilities with an annual $2,000 reduction in the equalized assessed value (EAV) of the property.

To qualify for the Disabled Persons Exemption this year (tax year 2020) you must:

  • have had a disability in 2020,
  • own or have a legal or equitable interest in the property or a leasehold interest of a single-family residence,
  • occupy the property as the principal residence on January 1, 2020, and
  • be liable for payment of property taxes.

If a person鈥檚 home previously received the exemption and he or she now resides in a facility licensed under the Nursing Home Care Act, his or her home is still eligible to receive the exemption provided the property is occupied by that person鈥檚 spouse, or the property remains unoccupied.

An annual application is usually required for this. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this exemption will automatically renew this year for those who received it last year. No renewal is needed this year. Newly eligible persons can apply here.

What are the requirements and application procedures for the Returning Veterans Exemption?

Veterans returning from active duty in armed conflict are eligible to receive a $5,000 reduction in the equalized assessed value of their property for each taxable year in which they return.

To qualify for the Returning Veterans Exemption this year (tax year 2020) you must be:

  • an Illinois resident who served as a member of the United States Armed Forces on active duty or state active duty, a member of the Illinois National Guard or U.S. Reserve Forces,
  • be returning from active duty in armed conflict involving forces of the U.S.,
  • own or have had a legal or equitable interest in the property and used it as a principal place of residence on January 1, 2020, and
  • be liable for the payment of property taxes.

Annual application is required for the Returning Veterans Exemption.  This exemption may be received in addition to any of the other exemptions. Newly eligible veterans can apply here.

Requirements and Application Procedures for the Home Improvement Exemption

The Home Improvement Exemption allows you to increase the value of your home with up to $75,000 worth of improvements, but the portion of the home that is newly improved  is not taxed for four years.  This exemption is automatically applied to the property when a building permit is taken out to complete the home improvement.  Learn more:

https://www.cookcountyassessor.com/home-improvement-exemption

How can I apply for an exemption for a prior tax year?

You can apply online for a Certificate of Error for missing exemptions for the prior few years from tax year 2019 and earlier at the following link:

https://www.cookcountyassessor.com/certificates-error

Please call us at (312) 443-7550 if you have questions.

Questions about Increases in Your Tax Bill

Why did my first-installment tax bill increase?

First-installment bills are by law, 55% of the total taxes paid the previous year. Changes in value from the previous year and all exemptions appear on the following year鈥檚 second-installment bill.

Assessment and Appeal Questions

Can I file an appeal when I receive my first-installment tax bill?

Appeals of your property鈥檚 assessed value can be filed once a year, when your township is open for appeals. Your first installment tax bill due in March 2021 will not be affected by an appeal you submit in 2021.

Because property taxes are paid in arrears, any change in assessment as a result of an appeal filed in 2021 will be reflected on your second-installment tax bill next year in 2022.

I have an appeal currently being processed. Should I pay the bill I just received?

Yes. Your first installment bill for tax year 2020 is not affected by an appeal of a 2020 assessment (or a 2021 assessment).

My property's assessed value decreased last year. Why didn't its tax bill?

Any change to your property's assessed value in 2020, such as from an appeal or a COVID-19 adjustment, affects the second-installment property tax bill, not the first-installment tax bill.

Property Index Number (PIN) and Classification Questions

I do not know my Property Index Number (PIN). How can I obtain it?

You may locate your property index number on the following:

  • your tax bill,
  • your property deed,
  • your closing documents from the purchase of your home,
  • your reassessment notice, and
  • notices from the Assessor鈥檚 Office if the underlying parcel has been divided, (i.e. condominiums, new subdivisions)

You may also find it at https://www.cookcountyassessor.com/address-search

I would like more information regarding my property鈥檚 classification code.

This link on our website will take you to a list and definitions for the different property classifications:

https://www.cookcountyassessor.com/residential-examples

Note: our Office uses many characteristics about your property, such as its location and exact building square footage, in determining its fair market value. A property's classification code is a useful way to group properties, but a home's assessed value does not change if it changes only its classification code.

Verifying Ownership, Lien and Foreclosure Info

I need to verify ownership of a piece of property, if it has foreclosed, or if there has been a lien. What office should I call?

To verify ownership of a piece of property, if a property has foreclosed, or if there is a lien on a property, please contact the Cook County Clerk鈥檚 Office 312-603-5645 or at: https://www.cookcountyclerk.com/agency/property-taxes

Payment by Legal, Legal Description Questions, Plat of Survey

My parcel has not been assigned its own PIN yet. How do I pay my tax bill based on my legal description?

Sometimes after a property is developed or redeveloped, individual parcels are not readily assigned their own property index numbers (PINs).  The developer may have requested to divide the property into individual PIN(s) but his or her request may still be pending approval.

In such cases, each owner is responsible for timely payment of his or her portion of taxes but need not pay the entire tax bill for the full property. The process for making such payments is commonly referred to as "payment by legal description." Through this process, individual owners pay the taxes only for the portion of the property they own. This protects their ownership rights - even if the other owners of the other portions of the same PIN fail to pay. 

Property owners who need to pay real estate taxes by 鈥渓egal description鈥 must make a formal request with the Cook County Assessor鈥檚 Office.  The 鈥淎ssessment by Legal鈥 application may be found on the assessor鈥檚 website at:

https://www.cookcountyassessor.com/form-document/assessment-legal-description

Where do I get a copy of the legal description for my property?

In order to obtain a legal description of your property, you must contact the Cook County Clerk's Office (the Mapping Department). 312-603-5645.

https://www.cookcountyclerk.com/agency/property-taxes

The information is also located on your warranty deed.

How do I obtain a plat of survey for my property?

Plats of survey are ordinarily provided to homeowners at the time of the sale of a property. The Assessor鈥檚 Office does not have copies of plats for the over million residential homes in the county. If you do not have a plat or survey for your home, you will have to hire an independent surveyor to conduct a new survey.

Incorrect Property Description on Tax Bill

How do I get my property location corrected?

To change a property鈥檚 location, please visit this link and complete the online form:

https://www.cookcountyassessor.com/form-document/property-location-correction

 

Office Information

Office Locations and Contact Information

Many Assessor's Office services are available online or by phone at (312) 443-7550. You can also view availability of in-person appointments at our downtown and branch offices here