“Skyrocketing property taxes are hurting local seniors, many of whom live on fixed incomes,” Crespo said. “Last year we learned that more than 25,000 seniors in Cook County did not file for cost-saving exemptions. This legislation will immediately reduce bureaucratic hurdles and red tape that seniors face, ensuring they receive much needed relief without having to reapply every year.”
Last spring, Crespo worked with County Cook Assessor Fritz Kaegi to pass and implement House Bill 833, which created a five-year pilot program from 2021 to 2025 for qualifying seniors to continue receiving their Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption without having to reapply each year. Cook County was the only county in Illinois where older homeowners were forced by state law to go annually through the burdensome application process in order to receive this tax relief exemption.
Crespo teamed up with Kaegi again on House Bill 961, which will have the program run from taxable years 2020-2024, bringing immediate relief to local seniors. Crespo’s law will ensure qualifying seniors do not miss out on much-needed exemptions this year. Last year, more than 25,000 Cook County seniors didn’t reapply for annual property tax exemptions and discounts, totaling an estimated $45 million in missed out relief.
“With the Governor’s signature, I am pleased to see our state government speaking with one united voice on this issue,” Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi said. “Through intergovernmental cooperation and technological modernization within our office, seniors in Cook County will no longer be burdened with the need to reaffirm their age each year.”
“I’m grateful to Representative Crespo for his continued advocacy on this issue,” Assessor Kaegi added. “With necessary safeguards in place to prevent fraud, our office is implementing this bill now for the hundreds of thousands of seniors who are eligible for it.”
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