In 2003, Cook County Assessor Jim Houlihan developed the 7% Expanded Homeowner Exemption (EHE) in an effort to provide immediate relief to homeowners facing assessment increases and the resulting increases on their property tax bills. The 7% EHE is an expanded homeowner exemption that provides additional savings to homeowners by slowing the impact of a home’s reassessment and providing taxpayers with more stable and predictable tax bills. This property tax relief legislation was signed into law in July of 2004 and first implemented for 2003 City of Chicago tax bills.
In October of 2007, the 7% EHE was renewed for an additional reassessment cycle with new maximum exemption amounts. This legislation will be in effect for the City of Chicago until 2008, for the North suburbs until 2009, and for the South suburbs until 2010. Visit the Cook County Assessor’s website for additional information on the 7% Expanded Homeowner Exemption.
Senior Citizen Exemption
Senior Citizens receiving the Senior Citizen Exemption automatically qualify for the Homeowner Exemption and do not have to apply for it separately. The Senior Citizen Exemption provides tax relief by reducing the equalized valuation of an eligible residence. This savings is in the form of a deduction on the second-installment of the real estate tax bill. Homeowners who received the Senior Exemption on their tax bills last year and did not sell their homes in the last year, do not have to reapply for the Senior Exemption this year.
Senior Freeze Exemption
The Senior Freeze Exemption allows qualified senior citizens to apply for a freeze of the equalized assessed value (EAV) of their properties for the year preceding the year in which the applicant first qualifies and applies for this exemption. For example, a senior citizen who qualifies and applies for this exemption in taxable year 2007 will have the EAV of the property frozen at the 2006 EAV. Those who qualify and receive this exemption should be aware that this does not automatically freeze the amount of their tax bill. Only the EAV remains at the fixed amount. The amount of dollars that the taxing districts asks for (levy) may change and thus alter a tax bill.
Disabled Persons’ Homeowner Exemption
This exemption provides disabled persons with an annual $2,000 reduction in the equalized assessed value (EAV) of the property.
Disabled Persons’ Homeowner Exemption Form [.pdf, 388.79kb]
Disabled Veterans’ Standard Homeowner Exemption
Veterans with a service connected disability as certified by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs are eligible for this annual exemption. A disability of at least 75 percent is eligible for a $5,000 exemption in equalized assessed value (EAV). A disability of at least 50 percent, but less than 75 percent, is eligible for a $2,500 reduction in EAV.
Disabled Veterans’ Standard Homeowner Exemption Form [.pdf, 352.76kb]
Returning Veterans’ Homeowner Exemption
Veterans returning from active duty in armed conflict are eligible to receive a $5,000 reduction in the equalized assessed value of their property only for each taxable year in which they return.
Returning Veterans’ Homeowner Exemption Form [342.04kb]
Home Improvement Exemption
The Home Improvement Exemption allows onwers of single-family homes, condominiums, cooperatives, and apartment buildings up to six units you to increase the value of their home with up to $75,000 worth of improvements without increasing your property taxes for at least four years.