601 Deerfield Road | Deerfield, IL 60015 | Phone: 847.945.3020 | Fax: 847.945.3051 | Email: wdassessor@lakecountyil.gov

Exemptions

 Duties of the Assessor  Ι  Tax Savings Programs  Ι  Exemptions  Ι  Assessment Appeals  Ι  Major Taxing Bodies

 

Exemptions

Under Illinois law, several programs designed to provide property tax relief are available to homeowners. We have prepared this guide to familiarize you with these programs, and to answer the most frequently asked questions. As you will learn, eligibility requirements vary widely among these exemptions and you should review each exemption's criteria carefully.

The staff in the Township Assessor's office will be happy to provide additional information, and we encourage you to contact us if you have questions about these programs.

State Law Targets Property Owners Receiving an Erroneous Tax Bread

County Seeks Compliance with One Year Amnesty Period

New state law (effective June 1, 2014) gives the Chief County Assessment Office authority to recapture taxable value in instances where property owners have received homestead benefits erroneously. The new law aims to create a more fairly distributed property tax burden which benefits taxpayers. Lake County is providing an amnesty period for the remaining months of 2014 in order to gain maximum compliance. To get full details on this law, you can visit the Lake County's web site: http://assessor.lakecountyil.gov/Property-Tax-Relief/Pages/ExemptionRecapture.aspx.

The Illinois Homestead Exemption Program

Through a variety of exemptions, this program lowers the equalized assessed valuation of your property to which the tax rate is applied to determine your property tax bill. As explained below, qualifications and application procedures vary. In all cases, however, you must live at the property to qualify for any of these exemptions. You can find the forms you need at http://assessor.lakecountyil.gov/Property-Tax-Relief/Pages/default.aspx.

General Homestead Exemption

This exemption lowers the equalized assessed value of your property by $6,000. To receive this exemption, you must:

  • Have lived on the property which is your principal residence on or before January 1 of the tax year; otherwise, the value may be prorated for the portion of the year that the property was owner-occupied.

  • The Township Assessor's office initiates this exemption.

Homestead Improvement Exemption

This exemption allows a four-year deferment of any increase in the assessment of your property due to an addition or other improvement to your home for which the Township Assessor would add value.

  • A maximum of $25,000 of assessed value may be deferred under this program.

  • The Township Assessor's office initiates this exemption.

Senior Homestead Exemption

Click here for the link to the Senior Homestead Exemption Application.

This exemption lowers the equalized assessed value of your property by $5,000 and may be claimed in addition to the General Homestead Exemption. To receive this exemption, you must:

  • Have reached age 65 during the tax year.

  • Own and live in the property as your principal residence.

  • Apply for the exemption at the Township Assessor's office or the Chief County Assessment Office.

  • You will need to bring a copy of the deed to the property and proof of age with you when you apply. If the property is held in trust, you will also need a copy of the trust agreement indicating the beneficiary.

  • The exemption lowers the equalized assessed value of the property by $4,000 and may be claimed in addition to the Homestead Limited Exemption.

Senior Citizens' Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption

Click here for the link to the Senior Citizens' Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption Application.

To qualify, you must also receive the Senior Homestead Exemption and have had the property you are applying for be your principal residence for a period of time that would include the past two January firsts.

  • First time applications can obtain forms from the Chief County Assessment Office or your local township assessor's office.

  • This exemption freezes the assessment on your property if your total household income is $55,000 or less.

  • This exemption does not freeze your tax rate; it freezes the assessed valuation that appears on your tax bill.

  • This exemption must be renewed annually. The Chief County Assessment Office mails applications to all taxpayers receiving the Senior Homestead Exemption.

  • If you are applying for this exemption, and the property is held in trust, the law requires that we verify the applicant is a beneficiary of that trust. The exemption cannot be applied without this verification. Please include a copy of that part of the actual trust agreement which states that the applicant is the beneficiary. This can usually be found on the first few pages of that trust document. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Chief County Assessment Office at 847.377.2050.

Disabled Persons' Homestead Exemption

Click here for the link to the Disabled Persons' Homestead Exemption Application and Disabled Persons' Homestead Exemption Annual Verification Applications.

This exemption lowers the equalized assessed value of your property by $2,000 and may be claimed in addition to the General Homestead Exemption and the Senior Citizens' Homestead Exemptions, if applicable. This exemption cannot be claimed in addition to the Disabled Veterans' Standard Homestead Exemption or the Disabled Veterans' Exemption of $70,000; you can receive only one of these exemptions and, if you are a veteran, you should choose to apply for the one most beneficial to you. To receive this exemption, you must:

  • Own or have a legal or equitable interest in the property.

  • Have lived on the property on or before January 1st of the tax year.

  • Be disabled under the Federal Social Security Act and supply either:

  1. A copy of your Illinois Disabled Person Identification Card stating that you are under a Class 2 disability (for each year you qualify); or

  2. Proof of Social Security Administration Social Security Benefits. This proof includes an award letter, verification letter, or annual cost of living adjustment (COLA). This paperwork must be issued in the tax year for which you are applying. Whichever you supply, it must indicate that the benefits are for disability; or

  3. Proof of Veterans Administration disability benefits which would be an award letter showing total 100% disability; or

  4. Proof of Railroad or Civil Service disability benefits which would be an award letter showing a total 100% disability.

If you are applying for this exemption and the property is held in trust, the law requires that we verify the applicant is a beneficiary of that trust. The exemption cannot be applied without this verification. Please include a copy of that part of the actual trust agreement which states that the applicant is the beneficiary. This can usually be found on the first few pages of the trust document.

First-time applicants can obtain forms from the Chief County Assessment Office or your local township assessor's office.

Please note that this exemption requires annual verification of eligibility. The Chief County Assessment Office will mail the appropriate forms each year to all disabled persons who received the exemption in the prior year.

Disabled Veterans' Standard Homestead Exemption

Click here for the link to the Disabled Veterans' Standard Homestead Exemption Application and Disabled Veterans' Standard Homestead Exemption Annual Verification Application.

This exemption may be claimed in addition to the General Homestead Limited Exemption and the Senior Citizens' Homestead Exemptions, if applicable; however, it cannot be claimed in addition to the Disabled Veteran's Exemption. To receive this exemption, you must:

  • Be a Lake County, Illinois, resident and have served in the United States Armed Forces, the Illinois National Guard, or U.S. Reserve Forces, and have received an honorable discharge.

  • A disabled veteran with at least a 70% service-connected disability will receive a $5,000 reduction in the property's EAV.

  • A disabled veteran with at least 50%, but less than 70% service-connected disability will receive a $2,500 reduction in the property's EAV.

  • Have owned and occupied the property as the primary residence on or before January 1 of the tax year.

  • Supply documentation as required by the instructions on the back of the form.

  • Have a total equalized assessed value (EAV) of less than $250,000.

  • An unmarried surviving spouse of a disabled veteran can continue to receive this exemption on his or her spouse's homestead property or transfer the exemption to a new primary residence. To qualify, the surviving spouse must meet the following requirements:

  1. Sell the disabled veteran's previous homestead property before transferring this exemption to his or her new primary residence.

  2. Own and occupy the property as a primary residence and hold a legal or beneficial title to the property on January 1st of the assessment year.

  3. Have a  total equalized assessed value (EAV) of less than $250,000.

If you are applying for this exemption and the property is held in trust, the law requires that we verify the applicant is a beneficiary of that trust. The exemption cannot be applied without this verification. Please include a copy of that part of the actual trust agreement which states that the applicant is the beneficiary. This can usually be found on the first few pages of the trust document.

First-time applicants can obtain forms from the Chief County Assessment Office or your local township assessor's office.

Please note that this exemption will require annual verification of eligibility. The Chief County Assessment Office will mail the appropriate forms each year to all disabled or their surviving spouses who received the exemption in the prior year.

Returning Veterans' Homestead Exemption

Click here for the link to the Returning Veterans' Homestead Exemption Application.

  • Lowers the equalized assessed value of your property by $5,000 in the year you return from active duty in an armed conflict.

  • It is a one-year exemption and can be claimed in addition to the General Homestead Limited Exemption and any applicable Senior Citizens' Exemptions.

  • To receive this exemption, you must own and occupy the property as your principal residence on January 1st of the tax year.

  • Supply a copy of your DD214, if applicable; otherwise a copy of your most recent military orders and travel voucher showing the date of your return.

  • If you are applying for this exemption and the property is held in trust, the law requires that we verify the applicant is a beneficiary of that trust. The exemption cannot be applied without this verification. Please include a copy of that part of the actual trust agreement which states that the applicant is the beneficiary. This can usually be found on the first few pages of the trust document. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly at 847.377.2100.

Disabled Veterans' Exemption

What is a Disabled Veterans' Exemption and who qualifies?

Under this program, up to $70,000 of the equalized assessed value of a home owned by a qualifying veteran, or the veteran's spouse or unmarried surviving spouse is exempt from property taxes. To qualify for this exemption, you must:

  • Have served in the Armed Forces of the United States.

  • Have a disability of such nature that the Federal Government has authorized payment for the purchase or construction of housing which has special adaptations to meet the needs of your disability.

How do I establish a Disabled Veterans' Exemption?

You apply for this exemption through the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs. Once the exemption has been approved, the Chief County Assessment Office is notified by the Illinois Department of Revenue of the veterans eligible for this program. Please note that you are only eligible if you live in specially adapted housing that the Federal Government authorized payment for due to your disability. If you qualify, this exemption must be renewed each year.

You may obtain the required forms from the:

           Veteran's Affairs Medical Center North Chicago

           Building 135 Ground Floor

           3001 Green Bay Road

           North Chicago, Illinois 60064

           847-689-4153

Senior Citizens' Real Estate Tax Deferral Program

The Senior Citizens' Tax Deferral is a program that allows qualified senior citizens to defer part or all of the property taxes on their personal residence.

Click here for the Sample Application for Senior Tax Deferral and for the Sample Senior Tax Deferral Recovery Agreement.

General Information:

  • This is a state loan with a 6% simple interest rate.

  • Repayment upon death or sale of home.

  • A lien will be placed on your property.

  • The program may be utilized for multiple years, if you meet the qualifications.

  • Must file a new application each new tax year.

  • You may apply for other senior tax programs even though you are on the deferral program.

  • Those that have a current mortgage, 2nd mortgage or reverse mortgage must check with their lending institution to see if you qualify.

  • Your completed application must be notarized and returned by March 1st.

Mail to:

Lake County Treasurer

18 North County Street, Room 102

Waukegan, Illinois 60085




Requirements for Eligibility:

  • Applicant must be 65 years old as of June 1st of the tax year claimed.

  • Total household income $55,000 or less.

  • Maximum shall not exceed $5,000 per taxpayer per year.

  • Proof of house insurance.

  • Property cannot be income producing, such as rental income.

  • Applicant must own and occupy residence.

  • Property taxes must be current at the time of application.

  • The cumulative amount of the deferral plus interest cannot exceed the market value less the value of any liens.

  • Taxes may be paid at any time without affecting the deferral status.

Please contact the Lake County Treasurer's Office at 847.377.2323 for a Tax Deferral Application or if you have questions.

         


West Deerfield Township

601 Deerfield Road | Deerfield, IL 60015 | 847.945.3020