The Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption (35 ILCS 200/15-172) allows you, as a qualified senior citizen, to have your home’s equalized assessed value (EAV) “frozen” at a base year value and prevent or limit any increase due to inflation.
The base year generally is the year before the year you first qualify and apply for the exemption. For example, if you first qualify and apply in 2019, your property’s EAV will be “frozen” at the 2018 EAV. The amount of the exemption is the difference between your base year EAV and your current year EAV. In Cook County, the amount of the exemption is the difference between your base year EAV and your current year EAV or $2,000 whichever is greater. Freezing your property’s EAV does not mean that your property taxes will not increase, however. Other factors also affect your tax bill. For example, your tax bill could increase if the tax rate, which is based on the amount of revenues taxing districts re-quest, increases. Your EAV and tax bill may also increase if you add improvements to your home. However, if your home’s EAV decreases, you will benefit from any reduction.