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Supervisor of Assessments > FAQ > What Tax Exemptions Are There?

What tax exemptions are there?

You should always check your tax bill to make sure all exemptions you qualify for are applied to it. Call the Supervisor of Assessments office immediately if you are missing one you may qualify for. A person or married couples living together are only allowed one property with homestead exemptions on it throughout the United States.

General Homestead/Owner Occupied Exemption

The requirements for this exemption are that you live in the dwelling, it is your primary residence, and you own or have a legal equitable interest in the property all by January 1 of the year. You can sign up for the exemption as soon as you move into the home in the Supervisor of Assessments office. It will not be applied until the year you actually qualify. You may need to provide proof you have a legal equitable interest if it is not recorded in the Recorder of Deeds office.

The exemption subtracts $6,000 of your equalized assessed value (EAV). If you have a newly constructed home you may qualify for a prorated general homestead exemption. This exemption does not have to be filed annually.

Homestead Improvement Exemption

This exemption is limited to the fair cash value up to an annual maximum of $75,000 that was added to the homestead property by any new improvement (e.g., extensive remodeling, adding a new room, a deck) or rebuilding after a catastrophic event, and continues for four years from the year the improvement or rebuilding is completed and occupied.

When the new improvement is finished the taxpayer is to contact the Supervisor of Assessments office. An assessment notice is mailed out and the changed assessment is published in the local paper when the new improvement is assessed.

Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption

Your property qualifies for this exemption if

  • You are at least 65 years old;

  • You own and occupy the property as your primary residence (or have a legal equitable interest);
  • You are required to pay the property taxes for the residence.

This exemption reduces up to $5,000 of your equalized assessed value (EAV). You can sign up the year you turn 65. This does not have to be filed annually.

Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption

The qualifications are:

  • You are at least 65 years old;

  • You own and occupy the property as your primary residence (or have a legal equitable interest) or live in an assisted living facility and the house stays vacant or is occupied by the spouse;
  • You are required to pay the property taxes for the residence; and
  • Your total household income is $55,000 or less
  • You have lived in your home for a complete tax year. (Jan 1 to Jan 1)

This exemption must be filed annually. A new form must be filled out and documentation of the household income is required every year. Documentation is the Federal Income Tax form (e.g. 1040) if one is filed and supporting forms (e.g. 1099, W2). The Income qualification could increase from year to year.

The exemption “freezes” your property’s prior year equalized assessed value the year that you qualify for the exemption. Your house can still be reassessed, but the difference will be subtracted off if there is an increase. If your assessment is lowered below the amount you are “frozen” at then, your “freeze base” will change to that value. Your tax bill may still increase if any tax rates are increased or if you add improvements that increase the value of the property.

Returning Veterans’ Homestead Exemption

To qualify for this exemption you must

  • Be an Illinois resident who has served as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, Illinois National Guard, or U.S. reserve Forces;

  • Return from active duty in an armed conflict involving the armed forces of the U.S.;
  • Be liable for the payment of property taxes; and
  • Have legal equitable interest in the property as your principal residence.

The exemption provides a $5,000 reduction on the equalized assessed value off of the principal residence's equalized assessed value. The exemption will be applied the year the veteran returns home from an armed conflict and the following taxable year. You are able to receive the exemption again if you return to active duty in a subsequent year. A veteran who passes during active duty still qualifies for the exemption.

Documentation: Department of Defense DD Form 214 certified by the recorder of deeds, or Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs or military orders and travel voucher if you are still on active duty when returning home.

A person is only allowed one of the following exemptions in a tax year.

Disabled Veterans’ Standard Homestead Exemption

To qualify for this exemption you must

  • Be an Illinois resident who has served as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty or state active duty, Illinois National Guard, or U.S. Reserve Forces, and not dishonorably discharged.

  • Have at least a 50% service-connected disability certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
  • Own and occupy the property as the primary residence on January 1 of the assessment year or become a resident of a facility licensed under the Nursing Home Care Act or a facility operated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as long as the residence is vacant or occupied by the spouse.
  • Have a total EAV of less than $250,000 for the primary residence, excluding the EAV of property used for commercial purposes or rented for more than 6 months.

The exemption subtracts $5,000 if your disability percentage is 70% or more or $2,500 if your disability percentage is between 50% and 69% off of your equalized assessed value. This exemption must be renewed every year. Call the office if you are a surviving spouse for more options. 

Documentation: A first time applicant will need to provide a Department of Defense DD Form 214, certified, and a Disability Certification Letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs for the current assessment year. Each year after your first application you will need to fill out a renewal form and provide the current Disability Certification Letter. 

Disabled Persons’ Homestead Exemption

To qualify for this exemption you must

  • Be disabled or become disabled during the assessment year (i.e. cannot participate in any “substantial gainful activity by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment” which will result in the person’s death or that will last for at least 12 continuous months)

  • Own or have a legal equitable interest in the land on which a single-family residence is situated
  • Occupy the property as your primary residence on January 1 of the assessment year, and
  • Be liable for the payment of the property taxes

The exemption subtracts $2,000 off the equalized assessed value. This exemption must be filed annually.

Documentation: A first time applicant can provide a COLA Form SSA-4926-SM-DI, COLA Forms SSA-L8151, SSA-L8155, or SSA-L8156, from the Social Security Administration or Proof of Railroad or Civil Service disability benefits which includes a verification letter of a total (100%) disability. When renewing the form a Disabled Persons Identification Card is required stating you have a Class 2 disability.

The Disabled Person Identification Card is issued by the Illinois Driver’s License Facility. An Application for Illinois Disabled Person Identification Card must be filled out by a physician and returned to the Illinois Driver’s License Facility. The ID card and Disabled Persons’ Homestead Application must be filed in the Supervisor of Assessments Office.

Disabled Veterans’ Exemption-This exemption may be up to $70,000 off the assessed value for certain types of housing owned and used by a disabled veteran or his or her unmarried surviving spouse. The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs determines the eligibility for this exemption, which must be reestablished annually. This exemption is also available on a mobile home.

You should contact the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs for more information (http://www.veterans.illinois.gov/contactus.htm). We are informed by the Illinois Department of Revenue if you qualify for this exemption.

 

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