SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Seniors in Cook County would have easier access to property tax relief under legislation backed by state Rep. Jonathan Carroll, D-Northbrook, that eliminates an unfair requirement forcing Cook County seniors to reapply for a Senior Homestead Exemption every year.
“Property taxes are forcing people out of their homes, and seniors living on fixed incomes are hit hardest,” Carroll said. “People need relief, but Cook County seniors are the only homeowners in the state who are forced to reapply every single year just to receive the exemption they deserve. My bill recognizes the burden property taxes are placing on our seniors, and makes it a little easier for them to receive relief.”
Carroll’s Senate Bill 1257 eliminates Cook County’s legal requirement for seniors to reapply annually for the Senior Homestead Exemption. Under Carroll’s bill, the exemption would remain on a property as long as the senior resides there. The exemption applies to people who are 65 and older and pay property taxes on their home, and Cook’s current exemption stands at $8,000. Some counties throughout Illinois, like Lake, Kane and Will, already have this protection in place. Carroll’s bill puts Cook County on an equal footing, which will protect homeowners from paying even more in property taxes.
This measure passed the Illinois Senate with unanimous bipartisan support.
“The Cook County’s assessor’s office should be allowed to handle these exemptions on behalf of our seniors, allowing the homeowners to enjoy their exemption for as long as they stay in their homes,” said Carroll. “I will take any step to prevent property taxes from being unfairly inflated on my residents.”