What is a Senior Citizen Exemption?

The Senior Citizen Exemption provides tax relief by reducing the equalized assessed valuation of an eligible residence. This savings is in the form of a deduction on the second-installment real estate tax bill.

I qualified for a Senior Citizen Exemption. Do I have to apply for a Homeowner Exemption separately?

No. Senior Citizens receiving the Senior Citizen Exemption automatically qualify for the Homeowner Exemption and do not have to apply for it separately.

I received the Senior Exemption on my tax bill last year. Do I have to reapply for the Senior Exemption this year?

No. This is a recent change. Until 2019, state law required that senior citizens reapply annually for the Senior Exemption. The law changed on August 26, 2019 with the signing into law of HB 833. The bill, championed by Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi and Illinois House Assistant Majority Leader Fred Crespo, amends the Illinois Property Tax Code to allow for the automatic renewal of the Senior Citizen Exemption for persons who had received this exemption in the year prior. Seniors not currently receiving the exemption, and those who turned 65 in 2019, must apply for the senior exemption in 2020; their exemption will then automatically renew each following year. Senior exemptions currently in place will renew automatically. If you received a Senior Exemption on the second-installment tax bill you received in July 2019, you do not have to reapply for this exemption.

What are the eligibility requirements for the Senior Citizen Exemption?

Eligibility Requirements
  1. You must be 65 years of age or older during the tax year for which you are applying;
  2. You must either own the property or have a lease or contract which makes you responsible for the real estate taxes; and
  3. The property must be your principal residence. If you have moved or plan to move in the future, you may be entitled to a prorated Senior Citizen Exemption, based on the time of occupancy. To apply for a prorated Senior Citizen Exemption you 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.

    Please Note: A new law expands the Senior Exemption savings this year from $5,000 to $8,000 in Equalized Assessed Value (EAV). It is important to note that the exemption amount is not the dollar amount by which a tax bill is lowered. EAV is the partial value of a property to which tax rates are applied; it is this figure on which a tax bill is calculated.

    A Senior Exemption is calculated by multiplying the Senior Exemption savings amount ($8,000) by your local tax rate. Your local tax rate is determined by the Cook County Clerk and can be found on your second-installment tax bill or by contacting the Cook County Clerk?s Office at 312- 603-6566.

What is the application procedure and what other documents do I need to provide with the application?

Application Procedures
  1. If you are eligible for the exemption, please complete and sign the Senior Citizen Exemption Application Form. Information pertaining to Permanent Index Number and township can be found on your real estate tax bill.
  2. You must also provide the following information:
    Recent Real Estate Tax Bill For Your Home

    This includes your residential/property address and index number. If your bill is not mailed to your home, you must supply ONE MORE document that would prove your home address, such as your voter's registration card, voting record from the tax year(s) for which you are applying, or Driver's License or Illinois Identification (ID) card showing your address as the property address issued prior to the earliest year for which you are applying.

    Proof Of Your Age

    Submit ONLY ONE official document that clearly shows your birth date, such as your Driver's License, Illinois Identification (ID) Card, Alien Registration Card, Social Security Form 2458, Naturalization Papers, or Birth Certificate. NOTE: Women who submit documents with maiden name must provide Marriage Certificate(s) to show connection with current name.

What if i own a cooperative?

Owners of cooperative apartments must also submit a stock certificate, occupancy agreement, or trust agreement, along with their application.

I would like to apply by mail. Is there anything I should know?

If you apply by mail, do not send originals of the above documents. Please send copies because the documents cannot be returned to you.

I would like to apply in person. Is there anything I should know?

If you apply in person at the Assessor's Office, your documents will be reviewed and returned to you while you wait.

What happens after I have filed for a Senior Citizen Exemption?

The Assessor's Office will notify you when your application is approved.

Can I still receive the Senior Citizen Exemption if my property is listed in the name of my late spouse?

If you are 65 or over, you will qualify for this exemption in your name. Please notify the Taxpayer Services Department and we will send you the proper application forms. Otherwise, your property will receive the exemption for the remainder of the year of your spouse?s death. You will then have to apply when you turn 65. For more information, you may contact our Taxpayer Services Department at (312) 443-7550.

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