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Good News For Illinois Senior Citizen Property Owners? Property Tax Exemption Rules May Be Changing

On Behalf of | Apr 28, 2011 | Firm News

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According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, there may be changes in store for the Illinois law requiring senior citizen property owners to apply for senior tax and senior freeze exemptions to property taxes.  And those changes may become retroactive, allowing seniors to have tax bills corrected later if they forgot to apply this year.

This post is a follow up to my post of March 7, which included links to the forms required to apply for the exemption.

Here is an excerpt from the Chicago Tribune article

Nearly 300,000 Cook County seniors no longer would be required to file every year to get a property tax break under a measure the Illinois Senate approved Thursday.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. John Mulroe, D-Chicago, would allow homeowners 65 and older once again to automatically get the senior exemption every year. The current requirement to annually request the break was slipped into a broader tax relief package last year that was passed and signed into law.

Now more than 100,000 seniors could get caught in the switches and lose the break this year because they did not file the paperwork to reclaim the exemption, said Joseph Berrios, the new county assessor who wants the annual filing requirement eliminated.

According to Michael Madigan, speaker of the Illinois House, representatives are studying a series of tax exemptions to see if there should be any changes.  Madigan said the original change requiring an annual filing was needed because many homes have changed ownership but kept the tax break in place even when new owners were younger than 65.

Apparently, Madigan and his colleagues didn’t anticipate the added burden on seniors would lead to 100,000 of them losing out on the exemption because they lacked the information or the assistance to apply.  Let’s hope this gets corrected soon.