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Illinois Program Eligibility

Property Tax-Aide features three statewide programs for older Illinois residents: Low-income Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption (SCAFHE), Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption, and Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Program.

We also feature five property tax exemptions for residents of Cook County: Homeowner, Senior, Senior Freeze, Persons with Disabilities, and Veterans with Disabilities. Once the homeowner and senior exemption is applied, it auto-renews each year — meaning you only have to apply once!

The information on this page is updated as new information becomes available by the relevant tax agencies.

Read more about property tax relief programs in your area.

Low-Income Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption (SCAFHE)

This exemption "freezes" the senior citizen's property's equalized assessed value the year that the senior citizen qualifies for the exemption. The property's equalized assessed value does not increase as long as qualification for the exemption continues. The tax bill may still increase if any tax rates are increased or if improvements are added that increase the value of the property.

Application Deadline

Please consult your county assessor’s office as each assessor sets its own deadline.

Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption

This exemption lowers the equalized assessed value of the property by $8,000 in Cook County and counties contiguous to Cook County or $5,000 in all other counties.

Application Deadline

Contact your chief county assessment officer (CCAO) to verify any due date for filing this application in your county. Contact information for county assessors can be found under contact details below.

Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Program

The Senior Citizens' Real Estate Tax Deferral program provides tax relief for qualified senior citizens by allowing them to defer $7,500 of their property tax on their principal residence.

The deferral is similar to a loan against the property's market value. The deferred amounts are borrowed from the State of Illinois, who then pays $7,500 of the current year's tax bill. To ensure repayment, a six percent (6%) simple interest rate is charged on the deferred amounts and a lien is filed on the property.

Deferred amounts must be repaid within one year of the settlement of the estate or at the time the property is sold or title is transferred.

Application Deadline

File an application from January through the cut-off date of March 1st each year.

Homeowner Exemption (Cook County)

The Homeowner Exemption reduces the Equalized Assessed Value (the value you pay taxes on) by $10,000. The Homeowner Exemption is calculated by multiplying the savings amount ($10,000) by local tax rate.

Application Deadline

August 4, 2023

Note: Exemptions appear on your second installment tax bill issued in the summer.

Senior Exemption (Cook County)

The Senior Exemption exempts $8,000 of assessed value from the owner’s tax bill. The Senior Exemption is in addition to the Homeowner Exemption. Those that qualify for the Senior Exemption automatically qualify for the Homeowner Exemption ($10,000).

Application Deadline

August 4, 2023.

Note: Exemptions appear on your second installment tax bill issued in the summer.

Low-Income Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze (“Senior Freeze”) (Cook County)

A "Senior Freeze" Exemption provides property tax savings by freezing the equalized assessed value (EAV) of an eligible property. This does not automatically freeze the amount of their tax bill, only the EAV remains at the fixed amount. Tax rates may change and thus alter a tax bill. The automatic renewal of this exemption due to COVID-19 has ended. Applicants must apply annually.

Application Deadline

August 4, 2023.

Note: Exemptions appear on your second installment tax bill issued in the summer.

Persons with Disabilities Exemption (Cook County)

A Person with Disabilities Exemption is for a person with disabilities and provides an annual $2,000 reduction in the equalized assessed value of the property.

Application Deadline

August 4, 2023.

Note: Exemptions appear on your second installment tax bill issued in the summer.

Veterans with Disabilities Exemption (Cook County)

This Homestead Exemption for Veterans with Disabilities is for veterans with a service-connected disability as certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The exemption reduces certain amounts of the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) on the primary residence of a veteran with a disability, very likely lowering the tax bill. The amounts of those EAV deductions depend on the level of disability. Veterans 70% or more disabled receive an EAV reduction of $250,000, and because of this can be totally exempt from property taxes on their home.

The automatic renewal of this exemption due to the COVID-19 pandemic has ended. All applicants must reapply annually.

Application Deadline

August 4, 2023.

Note: Exemptions appear on your second installment tax bill issued in the summer.

Property Tax-Aide has independently selected the property tax relief programs featured on this website that we think are the most relevant and beneficial to older adults. It is not an exhaustive list of all property tax relief programs available in each state. Please consult your local tax agency for a comprehensive listing of property tax relief programs in your area.

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