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Senior property tax exemptions and programs

Post Date:01/30/2020 8:59 AM

TaxesThe City of Evanston's Property Tax Assessment Review Office is advising Evanston residents 65 years or older of two different senior property tax exemptions, as well as the Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Deferral Program for which some may qualify.

Local seniors are encouraged to call the Property Tax Assessment Review Office at 847-448-8168 for assistance completing the application forms or questions.

New this year, senior citizens will no longer have to file renewal forms for the Senior Exemption. A new law taking effect this year eliminates the annual renewal requirement for the Senior Exemption, but remains in place for the Senior Freeze Exemption.

The Senior Exemption is available to all homeowners 65 years of age or older, regardless of income. Under the new law, property owners who received the Senior Exemption last year will have it automatically renewed this year. 

The Senior Freeze Exemption must be applied for every year, as incomes can change from year to year. Senior Freeze applications, if not received via US mail, can be obtained from the Cook County Assessor's website at www.cookcountyassessor.com or the Property Tax Assessment Review office. 

Eligibility for Senior Exemptions:

  1. The Senior Exemption provides tax savings and is available for any owner-occupied residential property if the owner was born in 1954 or earlier.          

    Under the new law, property owners who received the Senior Exemption last year will have it automatically renewed this year.

    New seniors will have to apply for the exemption this year.

  2. The Senior Freeze provides seniors with additional savings if the combined income of all members of the household is less than $65,000, and if the senior has been an owner-occupant of the property since January 1, 2018. 

If a senior qualifies for the Senior Freeze this year but did not last year, a Senior Freeze application will have to be completed. Seniors in this situation will not get a Senior Freeze application in the mail, but can obtain an application from the Assessor's website or visit the Property Tax office.

The eligibility requirements described above are for the 2019 property taxes, which are paid in calendar year 2020. The savings from these exemptions will appear on second installment tax bills that will likely be mailed in early July, 2020. New Senior Exemption applications and all Senior Freeze applications are due February 13, 2020.

Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Deferral Program 

The Senior Citizen Tax Deferral program is a property tax-relief program that works like a loan. It allows qualified seniors to defer as much as $5,000 in property taxes each year until their homes or condominiums are sold. Applications for this program must be submitted by Sunday, March 1.

To qualify, seniors must have annual household income of less than $55,000, have equity in their homes that exceeds the sum of property taxes deferred, and have lived in their homes for at least three years, as well as other requirements. For additional information and to obtain the application, seniors should visit the Cook County Treasurer's website at www.cookcountytreasurer.com.

Seniors with additional questions regarding tax exemptions and the Senior Citizen Tax Deferral Program can call the Property Tax Assessment Review Office at 847-448-8168.

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