Property Tax Exemptions

What are Exemptions?

The Assessor’s Office administers property tax exemptions that may contribute to lowering your property tax bill. These exemptions reduce the equalized assessed value (EAV), or taxed value, of a home. As a reminder, exemption deductions appear on 2021 second installment bills.

In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many of the exemptions will automatically renew for tax year 2020. In the next few weeks, tens of thousands of households will receive a letter that confirms the auto-renewal of the exemptions placed on their home. For households who need to apply or reapply, please do so online. 

How can a homeowner see which exemptions were applied to their home last year?
Check the Cook County Portal website, then review the Exemption History and Status section. 

If an exemption you were entitled to in a prior tax year was not applied to a second installment property tax bill in the past, you may be able to apply for a refund (read more about submitting a Certificate of Error). 

📌 Reminder: Exemptions appear on your second installment tax bill issued in the summer. To learn more about how the property tax system works, click here

Frequently Asked Questions

Please note: Many of the exemptions automatically renew this year. 

Homeowner Exemption

Homeowner Icon

Provides property tax savings by reducing the equalized assessed value of an eligible property. Most homeowners are eligible for this exemption if they own and occupy the property as their principal place of residence. Once this exemption is applied, the Assessor’s Office auto-renews it for you each year.
Automatic Renewal: Yes, this exemption automatically renews each year. 

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Senior Exemption 

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Provides property tax savings by reducing the equalized assessed value of an eligible property. Most homeowners are eligible for this exemption if they meet the requirements for the Homeowner Exemption and were 65 years of age or older during calendar year 2020. Once this exemption is applied, the Assessor’s Office auto-renews it for you each year.
Automatic Renewal: Yes, this exemption automatically renews each year. 

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“Senior Freeze” Exemption 

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Provides property tax savings by freezing the equalized assessed value of an eligible property. Most homeowners are eligible for this exemption if they meet the requirements for the Senior Exemption and have a total household annual income of $65,000 or less in calendar year 2019. This exemption usually requires annual renewal, however it will be auto-renewed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Automatic Renewal: Yes, for tax year 2020 only, this exemption will automatically renew.

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Persons with Disabilities Exemption

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Provides property tax savings with an annual reduction in the equalized assessed value of a property. Homeowners eligible for this exemption this year must be disabled or become disabled during the 2020 tax year. This exemption usually requires annual renewal, however it will be auto-renewed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Automatic Renewal: Yes, for tax year 2020 only, this exemption will automatically renew.

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Returning Veterans Exemption

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Provides veterans returning from active duty in armed conflict with a  reduction in the equalized assessed value of their property – for each taxable year in which they return. This exemption must be filed for annually.
Automatic Renewal: No, this exemption must be filed annually.

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Veterans with Disabilities Exemption

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Provides veterans with a service-connected disability as certified by the U.S Department of Veteran Affairs with a reduction in the equalized assessed value of their property.  This exemption usually requires annual renewal but will be auto-renewed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Automatic Renewal: Yes, for tax year 2020 only, this exemption automatically renews.

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Long-Time Homeowner Exemption

Long-Time Homeowner Exemption Icon

Provides homeowners with an expanded Homeowner Exemption with no maximum exemption amount. In addition to meeting income and residency requirements, applicants must also have a significant assessment increase that exceeds the maximum amounts set by the state legislature. Applications are mailed annually to the less than 2% of properties that may qualify for this exemption. This exemption requires annual renewal.
Automatic Renewal: No, fewer than 2% of homeowners qualify for this exemption and applications are mailed to those properties that qualify each year.

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Home Improvement Exemption

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Allows homeowners to add improvements to their home that add to its value (for example, by increasing the building’s square footage, or repairing after structural flood damage) without being taxed on up to $75,000 of the added value for up to four years.
Automatic Renewal: Yes. This exemption lasts up to four years.
Application Due Date: No application is required. Our office applies this exemption automatically to eligible properties.
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*Please Note: Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) is not the amount of your taxes. The EAV is the taxed value of the property. A reduction in EAV is not the dollar amount of reduction of a tax bill. Each property's tax bill is affected by its EAV and its local tax rate that year.