SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A new law from state Rep. Camille Y. Lilly, D-Chicago, will begin to simplify Cook County’s byzantine property tax system by instituting a program to reduce the amount of times seniors must apply for property tax exemptions.

“Rising property taxes are hurting Cook County seniors, many of whom live on fixed incomes,” Lilly said. “This law will help ensure that seniors are receiving the property tax savings they have earned by reducing burdensome application requirements.”

Lilly sponsored House Bill 833, which institutes a 5-year pilot project for Cook County to allow senior citizens to apply for the senior homestead exemption once instead of having to apply for it annually. Currently, Cook County seniors must reapply annually for the Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption while all other counties can choose to allow seniors to have the exemption automatically applied each year. Lilly’s law requires the Cook County Assessor to list the number of years remaining before a senior must reapply on assessment notices and includes protections to terminate the exemption when a senior citizen passes away. Additionally, the new law requires the Cook County Assessor to perform at least two audits of all claimed senior exemptions and take action to correct erroneously or fraudulently claimed exemptions. By reforming the annual application process, Lilly’s law will help to ensure that senior citizen homeowners are accessing their exemptions and are not overpaying property taxes.

“Building a stronger Illinois means creating fairer taxes for the middle class, including seniors who have spent their lives making our communities better,” Lilly said. “Simplifying our property tax system for seniors will reduce burdensome paperwork requirements, help ensure seniors aren’t overpaying their property taxes and could be the difference between a senior staying in their home or being forced to move.”

Rep. Camille Y LillyRep. Camille Y Lilly

78th District

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Springfield Office:
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Springfield, IL 62706
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District Office:
6937 W. North Ave.
Oak Park, IL 60302
(773) 473-7300