General Homestead Exemption (GHE)
This annual exemption is available for residential property that is occupied by its owner or owners as his or their principal dwelling place, or that is a leasehold interest on which a single family residence is situated, which is occupied as a residence by a person who has an ownership interest therein, legal or equitable or as a lessee, and on which the person is liable for the payment of property taxes. (35 ILCS 200/15-175) The amount of exemption is the increase in the current year’s equalized assessed value (EAV), above the 1977 EAV, up to a maximum of $10,000 in Cook County and $6,000 in all other counties.
Homestead Improvement Exemption
This exemption is limited to the fair cash value, up to an annual maximum of $75,000 (or $25,000 in assessed value, which is 33 1/3 percent of fair cash value), that was added to homestead property by any new improvement (e.g., remodeling, adding a new room) or rebuilding after a catastrophic event, and continues for four years from the date the improvement or rebuilding is completed and occupied. The exemption continues for four years from the date the improvement is completed and occupied. The Homestead Improvement Exemption may be granted automatically or a Form PTAX-323, Application for Homestead Improvement Exemption may be required by the Chief County Assessment Office.
Natural Disaster Homestead Exemption
This exemption is on homestead property for a rebuilt residential structure following a widespread natural disaster occurring in the taxable year 2012 (property taxes payable 2013) or any taxable year thereafter. The amount of the exemption is the reduction in EAV of the residence in the first taxable year for which the taxpayer applies for an exemption minus the EAV of the residence for the taxable year prior to the taxable year in which the natural disaster occurred. The exemption continues at the same amount until the taxable year in which the property is sold or transferred.
The initial Form PTAX-327, Application for Natural Disaster Homestead Exemption, must be filed with the Chief County Assessment Office no later than July 1 of the first taxable year after the residential structure is rebuilt or the filing date set by your county. The Form PTAX-327 must be filed each year to continue to receive the exemption.
Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption
This annual exemption is available for property that is occupied as a residence by a person 65 years of age or older who is liable for paying real estate taxes on the property and is an owner of record of the property or has a legal or equitable interest therein as evidenced by a written instrument, except for a leasehold interest, other than a leasehold interest of land on which a single family residence is located, which is occupied as a residence by a person 65 years or older who has an ownership interest therein, legal, equitable or as a lessee, and on which he or she is liable for the payment of property taxes. The maximum amount of the reduction in equalized assessed value is $8,000 in Cook County and $5,000 in all other counties.
Filing requirements vary by county; some counties require an initial Form PTAX-324, Application for Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption, or a Form PTAX-329, Certificate of Status Form for Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption (annual renewal application) to be filed with the Chief County Assessment Office.
Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption (SCAFHE)
A person qualifies for this exemption if the person
● is at least 65 years old;
● has a total household income of $65,000 or less; and
● meets certain other qualifications.
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.
This exemption allows senior citizens who meet the qualifications to elect to maintain the equalized assessed value (EAV) of their homes at the base year EAV and prevent any increase in that value due to inflation. The amount of the exemption benefit is determined each year based on (1) the property’s current EAV minus the frozen base year value (the property’s prior year’s EAV for which the applicant first qualifies for the exemption), and (2) the applicant’s total household maximum income limitation.
Each year applicants must file a Form PTAX-340, Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption Application and Affidavit, with the Chief County Assessment Office.
Homestead Exemption for Persons with Disabilities
This exemption is an annual $2,000 reduction in the EAV of the primary residence that is owned and occupied by a person with a disability who is liable for the payment of property taxes.
The initial Form PTAX-343, Application for the Homestead Exemption for Persons with Disabilities, along with the required proof of disability, must be filed with the Chief County Assessment Office. The exemption must be renewed each year by filing Form PTAX-343-R, Annual Verification of Eligibility for the Homestead Exemption for Persons with Disabilities, with the Chief County Assessment Office. The property cannot receive this exemption in the same year it is receiving the Veterans with Disabilities Exemption for Specially-Adapted Housing or the Standard Homestead Exemption for Veterans with Disabilities.
More exemptions are available for Veterans and Disabilities. See list at the Illinois Dept. of Revenue website at: https://www2.illinois.gov/rev/localgovernments/property/Pages/taxrelief.aspx