Are You Signed Up for Property Tax Exemptions

The Assessor’s Office administers property tax exemptions that may contribute to lowering your property tax bill. These exemptions reduce the equalized assessed value (EAV), or taxed value, of a home. Exemption applications for Tax Year 2020 are now available online and are due by March 31, 2021. As a reminder, exemption deductions appear on 2021 second installment bills.

In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many of the exemptions will automatically renew for tax year 2020. In the next few weeks, tens of thousands of households will receive a letter that confirms the auto-renewal of the exemptions placed on their home. For households who need to apply or reapply, please do so online.

Exemption Types

The following Exemptions are available and applications are due on March 31, 2021.

  • Homeowner Exemption – Provides property tax savings by reducing the equalized assessed value of an eligible property. Most homeowners are eligible for this exemption if they own and occupy the property as their principal place of residence. Once this exemption is applied, the Assessor’s Office auto-renews it for you each year.
  • Senior Exemption – Provides property tax savings by reducing the equalized assessed value of an eligible property. Most homeowners are eligible for this exemption if they meet the requirements for the Homeowner Exemption and were 65 years of age or older during calendar year 2020. Once this exemption is applied, the Assessor’s Office auto-renews it for you each year.
  • Senior Freeze Exemption – Provides property tax savings by freezing the equalized assessed value of an eligible property. Most homeowners are eligible for this exemption if they meet the requirements for the Senior Exemption and have a total household annual income of $65,000 or less in calendar year 2019. This exemption usually requires annual renewal, however it will be auto-renewed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Persons with Disabilities Exemption – Provides property tax savings with an annual reduction in the equalized assessed value of a property. Homeowners eligible for this exemption this year must be disabled or become disabled during the 2020 tax year. This exemption usually requires annual renewal, however it will be auto-renewed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Returning Veterans Exemption – Provides veterans returning from active duty in armed conflict with a reduction in the equalized assessed value of their property – for each taxable year in which they return. This exemption must be filed for annually.
  • Veterans with Disabilities Exemption – Provides veterans with a service-connected disability as certified by the U.S Department of Veteran Affairs with a reduction in the equalized assessed value of their property. This exemption usually requires annual renewal but will be auto-renewed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Long-Time Homeowner Exemption – Provides homeowners with an expanded Homeowner Exemption with no maximum exemption amount. In addition to meeting income and residency requirements, applicants must also have a significant assessment increase that exceeds the maximum amounts set by the state legislature. Applications are mailed annually to the less than 2% of properties that may qualify for this exemption. This exemption requires annual renewal.
  • Home Improvement Exemption – Allows homeowners to add improvements to their home that add to its value (for example, by increasing the building’s square footage, or repairing after structural flood damage) without being taxed on up to $75,000 of the added value for up to four years.

You can find out more about Property Tax Exemptions at https://www.cookcountyassessor.com/exemptions.