Mark Zatz

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Homestead Exemptions Explained

Posted On: March 14th, 2017 9:00PM

How do home exemptions work?

When you purchase a home, if you meet certain conditions, you can qualify for homestead exemption as tax relief. There are numerous property tax exemptions for Illinois taxpayers. Exemptions for homestead, over 65 homestead, disabled homestead, disabled veteran are the most common of them. You must be able to prove ownership of your home, and the special groups mentioned must verify their age, military service, or veteran status. If approved, a homestead exemption may lower the amount of property taxes you pay each year.

There are no specific qualifications for the general homestead exemption other than the owner must have ownership interest in the property and use the property as their principal residence. An applicant is required to state that he or she does not claim an exemption on another residence homestead in or outside of Illinois. Be sure to find out if your exemption needs to be filed annually or auto renews.

How do you know if you are eligible and how to claim?

When you buy a home, it’s important to confirm your current assessment is accurate, so reach out to your local assessor’s office soon after you purchase a home to inquire about this.

Contact information for our area appraisal districts is as follows:

Cook County Assessor’s Office
118 North Clark Street, Room 320
Chicago, IL 60602
312.443.7550

Lake County Assessment Office
18 N County Street – 7th Floor
Waukegan, IL 60085
847-377-2050
assessor@lakecountyil.gov

Key things to remember:

  • First-time applicants must have been the occupants of the property as of January 1 of the tax year in question.
  • You can’t claim if you aren’t a primary home owner.
  • Your vacation or rental home doesn’t qualify.
  • Relatives living with you only qualify if they also have ownership on the property.
  • You can protest your property valuation.

Learn more about Texas Homestead Exemptions by visiting the Illinois Department of Revenue.

My services go beyond buying and selling your home. My goal is to be a year-round source of information for my clients. Let’s talk soon if you have real estate questions!

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