What is a Senior Freeze Exemption?
The Senior Freeze Exemption allows qualified senior citizens to apply for a freeze of the equalized assessed value (EAV) of their properties for the year preceding the year in which they first apply and qualify for this exemption. For example, a senior citizen who qualifies and applies for this exemption in taxable year 2018 will have the EAV of the property frozen at the 2017 EAV.
Those who qualify and receive this exemption should be aware that this does not automatically freeze the amount of their tax bill. Only the EAV remains at the fixed amount. The amount of dollars that the taxing districts asks for (levy) may change and thus alter a tax bill.
Who qualifies for a Senior Freeze Exemption?
To qualify for the taxable year 2018, you must meet all of these requirements:
- Be 65 years of age of older in 2018,
- Have a total gross household income of no more than $65,000 for 2017,
- Own the property, or have a legal, equitable or leasehold interest in the property on January 1, 2017 and January 1, 2018,
- Be liable for the payment of 2017 and 2018 property taxes, and
- Use the property as a principal place of residence on January 1, 2017 and January 1, 2018.
Please Note: A recent law expands eligibility for the Senior Freeze Exemption this year by increasing the allowable total household income to $65,000, from the previous limit of $55,000. There is also a new minimum $2,000 EAV deduction for the Senior Freeze, which will help offset increases in assessed value and help ensure that more seniors benefit from the Senior Freeze Exemption.
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.The Assessor does not set tax rates.
Please Note: A recent law expands eligibility for the Senior Freeze Exemption this year by increasing the allowable total household income to $65,000, from $55,000.
When do I apply for a Senior Freeze Exemption?
Those who are currently receiving the Senior Citizen Exemption will automatically receive an application form for the Senior Freeze Exemption.
You must file each year in order to continue to receive the Senior Freeze Exemption and the requirements must be met each year.
Are there other options available to seniors?
- Senior Citizen Real Estate
- Tax Deferral Program
- Cook County Treasurer's Office 312/443-5100
- Circuit Breaker Program
- Illinois Department of Revenue 800/624-2459