What is a Homeowner Exemption and how can I receive it?
You can receive the Homeowner Exemption on your primary place of residence if you:
- own or have a lease or contract which makes you responsible for the real estate taxes of the residential property, and
- used the property as your principal place of residence for the tax year in question.
Once applied, the Homeowner Exemption will renew automatically in subsequent years.
This exemption will be prorated if you purchased a newly constructed home that was not ready for occupancy until sometime after January 1 of the tax year in question. For further assistance regarding a newly constructed home, please contact us.
If you have never received a Homeowner Exemption on your home, you will need to apply for one. Exemption forms may be obtained by calling or visiting one of the Assessor's Office locations or your local township assessor.
Please Note: The Homeowner Exemption reduces the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) of a property by $10,000. EAV is the partial value of a property used to calculate tax bills. It is important to note that the exemption amount is not the dollar amount by which a tax bill is lowered.
Your property tax savings from the Homeowner Exemption is calculated by multiplying the Homeowner Exemption savings amount ($10,000) 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 documents do I need to submit with my application for tax year 2019 (billed in 2020)?
Proof of Identity and 2019 Occupancy of Property
- You can supply an Illinois Drivers License / ID Card, Matrícula Consular ID, or City of Chicago ID Card. The name and property address must verify the application. The date of issue must verify that you occupied this property as of January 1, 2019.
- Or, you can supply one document from List B and one from List C.
List B: Photo IDs that verify identity
• Illinois Drivers License / ID Card
• Matrícula Consular ID
• City of Chicago ID Card
• US Military ID
• Certificate of Naturalization (N-550/N-570)
• Permanent Resident Card (I-551)
• Refugee Travel Document (I-571)
• Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
List C: Documents that verify 2019 occupancy (must demonstrate property occupancy as of January 1, 2019)
• Mailed bank statement
• Mailed landline, cable, or internet bill
• Mailed pay stub or Social Security Award letter
• Voting record from 2019 (from Cook County Clerk’s office or Chicago Board of Elections)
• Occupancy Affidavit
Proof of Property Tax Liability
- If you are listed on the deed recorded at the Office of the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, this verifies your property tax liability. The Assessor’s Office staff can verify recorded deeds for you, so you do not need to provide a document.
- If you are NOT listed on the recorded deed, please provide one of the following documents to verify you are liable for payment of property taxes for this property:
- Deed (if not recorded) or contract for a deed
- Stock certificate
- Occupancy agreement
How do I apply for tax year 2019?
The second-installment property tax bills issued in summer 2020 reflect exemptions for Tax Year 2019. If you were eligible in Tax Year 2019 but this exemption is not on your bill, you can apply for a refund or corrected bill by filing for a certificate of error. Learn more here.
Is it too late to apply for exemptions?
If your home was eligible for a homestead exemption in a prior tax year (2016, 2017, or 2018) and you already paid the full tax amount billed for that year, the Assessor’s Office can help you obtain a refund through the Certificate of Error process.
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