Homeowner Exemption

A Homeowner Exemption provides property tax savings by reducing the equalized assessed value of an eligible property. Most homeowners are eligible for this exemption if they own and occupy their property as their principal place of residence. Once the exemption is applied, the Assessor’s Office auto-renews it for you each year.

Automatic Renewal: Yes, this exemption automatically renews each year. 
Application Due Date: The application will be available in early February and the due date will be announced at that time. 

How can a homeowner see which exemptions were applied to their home last year?
Check the Cook County Portal website, then review the Exemption History and Status section.

📌 Reminder: Exemptions appear on your second installment tax bill issued in the summer. To learn more about how the property tax system works, click here

House in Cook County


  1. Either own or have a lease or contract which makes you responsible for the real estate taxes of the residential property
  2. Occupy the property as your principal place of residence on January 1, 2020. 
    • 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.

Documentation Required to Apply

  1. Proof of Identity and occupancy in 2020.
  • 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
    • Passport
    • 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 2020 occupancy (must demonstrate property occupancy as of January 1, 2020)
    • 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 

     2. Proof of Property Tax Liability

  • If you are listed on the deed recorded at the Office of the Cook County Clerk, 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 Lease
    • Trust
    • Stock certificate
    • Occupancy agreement

Frequently Asked Questions

I have never applied for the Homeowner Exemption. How do I do that?
If you have never received a Homeowner Exemption on your home, you will need to file an initial application. Exemption forms may be filed online, may be downloaded, or you can obtain one by calling or visiting one of the Assessor's Office locations or your local township assessor. 

Do I have to apply every year?
No. Once you apply, the Homeowner Exemption will renew automatically in subsequent years as long as your residency remains the same. 

Can I receive a prorated exemption if my home is new construction and I move in after January 1?
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 an exemption for a newly constructed home, please contact us.

How are Homeowner Exemption savings calculated?
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.

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.

I am no longer eligible for the Homeowner Exemption, how do I opt out? 
Please complete the Exemption Waiver

How can I apply for a Homeowner Exemption for a prior tax year?
If you were eligible for the exemption in a prior Tax Year but the exemption was not on your bill, you can apply for a refund or corrected bill by filing for a certificate of error

+ Frequently Asked Questions

Due Date & How to Apply

In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many of the exemptions will automatically renew for tax year 2020. In the next few weeks, tens of thousands of households will receive a letter that confirms the auto-renewal of the exemptions placed on their home. For households who need to apply or reapply, applications will be made available by early February.