SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Legislation backed by state Rep. Aaron Ortiz, D-Chicago, which would make it easier for qualifying Cook County seniors to receive cost-saving exemptions awaits Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature.
“While we work to rein in skyrocketing property taxes, we must make sure that cost-saving exemptions are accessible to all families, especially seniors who may live on fixed income,” Ortiz said. “This legislation will bring much-needed stability to local seniors by ensuring that they don’t miss out on property tax savings because of unnecessary bureaucracy.”
Ortiz voted to pass House Bill 833, which creates a five-year pilot program from 2020 to 2024 for qualifying seniors to continue receiving their Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption without having to reapply each year. Cook County is currently the only county in Illinois where older homeowners are forced by state law to go annually through the burdensome application process in order to receive this tax relief exemption.
According to the Cook County Treasurer’s office, as many as 26,000 local seniors in Cook County didn’t reapply for annual property tax exemptions and discounts potentially are paying an estimated $45 million more than they should. Local seniors are encouraged to contact the county treasurer’s office to ensure they receive their exemption. Ortiz’s measure would simplify the complicated exemption process, ensuring that qualifying seniors do not miss out on necessary property tax relief.
“It’s unacceptable that thousands of seniors are potentially missing out on millions of dollars in savings because of present obstacles that overcomplicate things for them,” Ortiz added. “I look forward to Governor Pritzker signing this crucial measure into law to ensure nobody misses out on much-needed property tax relief.”