ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – State Rep. Mark Walker, D-Arlington Heights, is calling attention to the new Surviving Spouse Tax Abatement program through Cook County to benefit all surviving spouses of a fallen police officer, soldier or rescue worker.
“I’m pleased that the Cook County Board of Commissioners and the Chicago City Council have passed ordinances helping the surviving spouses of our fallen heroes,” Walker said. “As a veteran, I know the hardship families of our veterans, police and rescue workers can face. While qualifying for this exemption is nothing to be happy about, I encourage my residents to take advantage of this abatement to ease their property tax burden.”
Now in effect, the Surviving Spouse Tax Abatement program can abate up to 100% of a Cook County surviving spouse’s property tax liability. To qualify, the surviving spouse must not be remarried and their spouse must have been a police officer who died in the official course of their duty, died while in active service of a fire, rescue or emergency service, or died while on active duty as a member of the United States Armed Forces, including the National Guard, serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. Specifically for veterans, that includes Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and all Middle East conflicts since. Eligible families are encouraged to apply on the Cook County Board of Review’s website, www.CookCountyBoardOfReview.com, or can call their offices at 312-603-5542.
“Our veterans and first responders have made a pledge that can never be fully repaid,” Walker said. “This program is a positive step giving back to those going through tragedy. I’m also working at the state level to extend the veterans homestead exemption to surviving spouses, further easing the burden of skyrocketing property taxes. After all, we owe it to them.”