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Am I Missing Any Property Tax Exemptions?

Are you concerned that you may not be receiving all of the exemptions that you qualify for on your property tax bill? You can review the current list of exemptions for Cook County properties and find out:

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 the property. Once this exemption is applied, the Assessor’s Office auto-renews it for you each year.

Senior Exemption: Provides property tax savings by reducing the equalized assessed value of an eligible residence by $8,000. A new law allows for automatic renewal for seniors who received the exemption last year, meaning an applicant only has to apply once. Newly qualified seniors must file initial applications in 2020.

Senior Freeze Exemption: Provides property tax savings by freezing the equalized assessed value of an eligible property. Most homeowners are eligible for this exemption if they meet the requirements for the Senior Exemption and have a total household annual income of $65,000 or less in calendar year 2019. This exemption usually requires annual renewal; however it will be auto-renewed this year only, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Persons with Disabilities Exemption: Provides property tax savings with an annual reduction in the equalized assessed value of a property. Homeowners eligible for this exemption this year must be disabled or become disabled during the 2020 tax year. This exemption usually requires annual renewal; however it will be auto-renewed this year only, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Returning Veterans Exemption: Provides veterans returning from active duty in armed conflict with a reduction in the equalized assessed value of their property – for each taxable year in which they return. This exemption must be filed for annually.

Veterans with Disabilities Exemption: Provides veterans with a service-connected disability, as certified by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, with a reduction in the equalized assessed value of their property. This exemption usually requires annual renewal but will be auto-renewed this year only, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Longtime Homeowner Exemption: Provides homeowners with an expanded Homeowner Exemption with no maximum exemption amount. In addition to meeting income and residency requirements, applicants must also have a significant assessment increase that exceeds the maximum amounts set by the state legislature. Applications are mailed annually to less than 2% of properties that may qualify for this exemption. This exemption requires annual renewal.

Home Improvement Exemption: Allows homeowners to increase the value of their homes with up to $75,000 worth of improvements without increasing property taxes for at least four years. You will automatically receive this exemption when the Assessor’s Office field checks the building permit for the improvement. No application is required.

If you are missing any exemptions, Illinois law provides the Certificate of Error procedure to allow the Cook County Assessor to apply changes to a property tax bill that has already been issued. It is a way to make a correction after the assessment for that tax year is finalized. One Certificate of Error application addresses a single tax year.

To apply for a Certificate of Error for a missing exemption, go to https://www.cookcountyassessor.com/certificates-error. You can download the forms or fill them out electronically. If the Certificate of Error application is approved, you will get a refund check for your missing exemption.