Welcome to the Property Tax Exemption Workshop, where we will provide you with all the information you need to know about property tax exemptions. In this workshop, Ald. Brian Hopkins from the 2nd Ward will be joining us to share valuable insights. This article will guide you through the key points discussed in the workshop and provide a step-by-step process for applying for property tax exemptions.
Understanding Property Tax Exemptions
Property tax exemptions are a way to save money on your property tax bill. The Cook County Assessor’s Office is responsible for setting fair and accurate values for over 1.9 million parcels throughout the county. They also administer property tax savings exemptions that contribute to lowering your property tax bills.
There are eight types of property tax exemptions offered by the Cook County Assessor’s Office, which we will discuss in detail. It’s important to note that some exemptions automatically renew each year, while others require an annual application. Let’s dive deeper into each type of exemption.
1. Homeowner’s Exemption
The homeowner’s exemption is a valuable property tax savings exemption offered by the Cook County Assessor’s Office. The key advantage of this exemption is that it automatically renews each year, saving you time and effort. Once you apply for the homeowner’s exemption, you don’t need to reapply in subsequent years.
To be eligible for the homeowner’s exemption, you must have occupied your house as your principal place of residence as of January 1, 2021. Additionally, if you have a lease or contract that makes you responsible for the real estate taxes in the residence you live in, you also qualify for this exemption. If you had a brand new house built after January 1, 2021, you may be eligible for a prorated homeowners exemption.
2. Senior Exemption
The senior exemption is another valuable property tax savings exemption available to homeowners. Similar to the homeowner’s exemption, the senior exemption automatically renews each year. This means that once you apply, you don’t need to apply again in subsequent years.
To be eligible for the senior exemption, you must have been born in 1956 or earlier. It’s important to note that if you were born in 1957, you would have to wait until the following year to receive this exemption. Additionally, you must occupy the property as your principal place of residence and have a lease or contract that makes you responsible for the real estate taxes.
3. Senior Freeze Exemption
The senior freeze exemption is an additional benefit for seniors who qualify for the senior exemption. This exemption helps seniors with a limited income by freezing the assessed value of their property, which in turn helps lower their property tax bills. Unlike the homeowner’s and senior exemptions, the senior freeze exemption does not automatically renew each year.
To be eligible for the senior freeze exemption, you must be 65 years of age or born in 1956 or earlier. Additionally, your total gross household income must be no more than $65,000 for the year 2020. You must also have occupied the property as your principal place of residence as of January 1, 2020. It’s important to note that you must apply for the senior freeze exemption every year.
4. Persons with Disability Exemption
The persons with disability exemption is designed to assist individuals with disabilities in saving on their property tax bills. Similar to the other exemptions, this exemption automatically renews for the current year.
To be eligible for the persons with disability exemption, you must have been disabled during the 2021 tax year. You can qualify for this exemption if you receive social security disability benefits or if your doctor has deemed you disabled. Additionally, you must be liable for the property tax payments and have occupied the property as your principal place of residence as of January 1, 2021.
Applying for Exemptions
Now that you have a clear understanding of the various property tax exemptions, let’s discuss how to apply. The Cook County Assessor’s Office has made the application process simple and convenient, allowing you to apply online from the comfort of your own home.
To apply for exemptions, visit the Cook County Assessor’s Office website and locate the online application form. Fill out the required information accurately, providing details about your residence and eligibility for the specific exemption. Once you have completed the form, submit it electronically through the website.
It’s important to note that some exemptions, such as the senior freeze exemption, require annual applications. Make sure to check the eligibility criteria and application deadlines for each exemption to ensure timely submission.
Property tax exemptions can significantly reduce your property tax burden. Understanding the different types of exemptions and their eligibility criteria is essential for homeowners. In this workshop, we discussed the homeowner’s exemption, senior exemption, senior freeze exemption, and persons with disability exemption.
Applying for these exemptions is a simple process that can be done online. By taking advantage of these exemptions, you can save money on your property tax bills and ensure that you receive the benefits you’re entitled to. If you have any further questions or need assistance, feel free to contact the Cook County Assessor’s Office.
Remember, applying for property tax exemptions is a valuable way to maximize your savings and reduce your financial burden. Empower yourself with knowledge and take advantage of the benefits that the Cook County Assessor’s Office offers.