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Senior citizens owed $45 million in unclaimed property tax exemptions

Senior citizens owed $45 million in unclaimed property tax exemptions
July 18
11:13 2019

SURENDRA ULLAL

CHICAGO: As many as 26,500 senior citizens could save a total of $45 million on their Cook County property tax bills due August 1 by applying now for exemptions they received last year, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas said here.

Those homeowners received the Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption last year but have not reapplied, according to an estimate by the Treasurer’s Office. Of those seniors, roughly 19,200 received the Senior Freeze Exemption last year but also have not reapplied.

“It takes a little time to apply, but the exemptions reduce your tax bill by hundreds of dollars,” Pappas said.

To verify tax exemptions going back four years, visit cookcountytreasurer.com and:

  • Select the purple box labeled “Your Property Tax Overview”
  • Enter your address or Property Index Number (PIN)
  • Check the results under “Have You Received Your Exemptions in These Tax Years?”
  • If you believe you are entitled to an exemption you have not received, select “Apply for a missing exemption.”

State law requires that senior citizens reapply every year for these exemptions, which are available to homeowners who are 65 years of age or older. The Senior Freeze, which prevents increases in the taxable value of a home, is limited to seniors with annual household incomes of $65,000 or less. Some of the homes may no longer be eligible for the exemptions.

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