Home Improvement Exemption

Home Improvement Photo

The Home Improvement Exemption allows a homeowner 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. 

No application is required. When the Cook County Assessor’s Office receives building permits, our staff conduct a field check of the improvement. After this is complete, if this property is deemed eligible for the exemption, we send a notice to the property owner and apply the exemption.

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Eligibility

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The home must meet the following conditions:
•    Be occupied by the owner as their primary place of residence
•    Be a class 2 residence

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Documentation Required to Apply 

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No application is required. When the Cook County Assessor’s Office receives building permits, our staff conduct a field check of the improvement. After this is complete, we send a notice to the property owner and apply the exemption.

To learn whether you may qualify for the Home Improvement Exemption, call the Cook County Assessor's Office at 312-443-7550.

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How does this exemption work?

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Say a home with a current market value of $100,000 expands the home’s square footage such that the increase in square footage would cause the Assessor’s estimate of its market value to increase to $175,000. The added value of $75,000 from the home's improvement is exempted: the home would be assessed for taxation as if it was worth $100,000. 

If the improvement added an estimated $80,000 of value to the $100,000 home, the first $75,000 is exempted: the home would be assessed for taxation as if it was worth $105,000.
 

What is not covered by a Home Improvement Exemption?

The exemption is not granted for loss of personal property, normal weather damage, or routine maintenance. Routine maintenance includes repairs to or replacement of parts that would not increase the value of your property. The following are examples of normal upkeep:

  • Repair or replace roofing materials, sidewalks, driveways, or fencing
  • Insulate and/or add storm windows and doors
  • Add or replace gutters and downspouts
  • Place siding over existing frame structure
  • Add or improve trees, lawns, and landscaping
  • Paint, decorate, plaster, or change exterior ornamentations
  • Replace furnace, or replace old heating systems with solar heating
  • Replace kitchen cabinets, flooring, fixtures
  • Replace or add water softener, or add larger hot water heater
  • Add outdoor lighting, burglar or fire alarms
  • Replace electrical systems or plumbing fixtures
  • Install above-ground swimming pool or outdoor playground facilities
  • Add automatic garage door opener
  • Add aluminum soffit and facia
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Due Date & How to Apply

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There is no application or due date. Property owners will automatically receive the exemption when our office field checks the building permit for the improvement. After we complete the check and apply the exemption, we will send a notice to the property owner.

To learn whether you may qualify for the Home Improvement Exemption, call the Cook County Assessor's Office at 312-443-7550.