Senior Citizens' Homestead Exemption
35 ILCS 200/15-170
Who is eligible?
To qualify you must:
- be age 65 by December 31st of the assessment year for which the application is made.
- own and occupy the property.
- be liable for the payment of real estate taxes on the property.
How do I apply?
Eligible senior taxpayers must complete an application and supply proof of age and property ownership. Applications and guidelines listing acceptable proof are available from the Supervisor of Assessments Office or you may download the form directly from our ‘Forms and Documents’ webpage. Annual renewal (status) cards are sent to qualified taxpayers each year and must be returned to the Supervisor of Assessments Office to confirm continuing eligibility.
What benefit does this provide?
The Senior Homestead Exemption provides for a maximum of a $4,000 (through the 2012 tax year) reduction from the equalized assessed valuation. For a senior whose property is subject to a tax rate of $7.70 per one hundred dollars of assessed value, this results in a tax savings of $308 ($4,000 x 7.70%.). Effective for the 2013 pay 2014 tax year, the maximum assessed value deduction will be $5,000.
Neither the Senior Homestead Exemption nor the Tax Freeze Homestead Exemption requires the repayment of tax savings.
Instructions To Assist Senior Citizens Applying For Exemption
Filing a Senior Citizens General Homestead Exemption requires a completed application form and two additional documents. One of these documents is to establish proof of the applicant's age, the second to show proof of ownership of the real estate in question.
Proof of Age
A legible photocopy of one of the following is acceptable proof of age (If Birth Date is Noted) for the applicant(s):
- Birth Certificate
- State of Illinois ID Card
- Driver’s License
- Baptismal Certificate
- Naturalization Papers
Proof of Ownership
A legible photocopy of one of the following is acceptable proof of real estate ownership for the applicant(s):
- Warranty Deed
- Trustee’s Deed
- Quit Claim Deed
- Deed in Trust with Trust Agreement
- Title Policy (Only Schedule A)
- Release Deed
- Release of Mortgage
- Articles of Agreement
- Last Will & Testament With Death Certificate
- Executor’s Deed
The following instructions will assist you in determining what information is acceptable for proof of ownership of your property.
- If you have a Warranty Deed, Trustee's Deed or Quit Claim deed, please be sure you are the party that the property has been conveyed to. Also, please be sure the legal description is included with the document. It may be on a separate page.
- If you have a Deed in Trust, it must be accompanied by the Trust Agreement or Declaration of Trust. This second document is required to show who the beneficiaries of the trust are. Your name must be listed as one of the beneficiaries in order for you to qualify.
- If you have a Release Deed, please be sure that it is dated prior to January 1st of the tax year you are applying for. This document must also include a legal description of your property. This is not required on all Release Deeds. If your document does not include the legal description, it is not acceptable.
- If you have the Title Policy, your name must be shown as one of the insured parties. If it indicated a trust as the insured party, you must also include a Trust Agreement or Declaration of Trust per instructions listed in Number 1 on this list. This document must also include the legal Description. It is sometimes on a second page. You need only submit schedule A of the Title Policy. It is usually one or two pages.
- If you are submitting Articles of Agreement, they are only acceptable if your contract has not been fulfilled. If you have been issued a deed in fulfillment of the contract, that is the documents we must have.
- If you have inherited the property, a copy of the Last Will and Testament and Death Certificate of the person willing the property to you is required.
If you are not sure the document you have will meet the requirements, please contact us at 407-5858.
Do not send any original documents as they will not be returned. We will accept only photocopies of your documentation.
Contact in the Event of a Delinquency
Individuals receiving the Senior Homestead Exemption may designate an alternative contact to receive correspondence from the Treasurer in the event a Notice of Delinquency is issued for their home. The notice mailed to the designee is in addition to the information that will be mailed directly to the exemption holder. There is a one-time fee of $5.00, payable to the County Collector for registering an alternate contact.
If you would like to utilize this service, please complete a "Request to Designate Alternate Contact for Property Tax Delinquency Notice" form and returning to our office. This form is available from our office and also may be downloaded on our ‘Forms and Documents’ web page.
Updated 04/23/2013 to reflect PA 98-0007, which makes a change in 35 ILCS 200/15-170 effective for the 2013, pay 2014 tax year.