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Illinois Seniors Receive Automatic Property Tax Exemption

By Tavis J. Hampton | April 2, 2011

Close to 300,000 seniors in Cook County , Illinois will no longer have to file every year to continue to receive property tax exemptions, thanks to a new measure the Illinois State Senate authorized.  Under the current law, those who wish to receive the property tax exemption must file annual paperwork with the County Assessor.

elderly couple

The measure by the Senate reconfirms the exception for seniors over the age of 65, allowing them to continue to receive the exemption even if they did not refile.  Furthermore, seniors who did not know they were eligible for the exemption last year can still file for the tax break retroactively.

Joseph Berrios is the new assessor for Cook County, which is home to the city of Chicago, and he hopes to do away with the annual filing process altogether.  But the legislation will have to pass through the State House, where some lawmakers are not so eager to cut it completely.  The reason the annual filing was implemented, they say, is that some homes changed hands, leaving the 65-and-older tax break in effect for people who should not be eligible.

The requirement to file annually was introduced as a much smaller part of a larger tax relief package, and now Berrios and others want it removed.

Daley Plaza Cook County

Cook County is the second most populous county in the United States, second only to Los Angeles County.  Over 50 percent of its 5 million residents live in Chicago.  Residents can find out more information about available exemptions and how to file a property tax appeal on the County Assessor’s website.

Feature image, courtesy: Jeremy Atherton.

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