Exemptions

ARE YOU GETTING ALL OF THE PROPERTY TAX RELIEF TO WHICH YOU ARE ENTITLED?

There are several exemptions available to provide tax relief to homeowners. These exemptions either reduce or defer an increase in the equalized value of your property. The net effect of these exemptions is to lower the assessed valuation to which the tax rate is then applied. Eligibility requirements and application procedures vary for each program. You can verify your exemptions online or from your last tax bill.

The Chief County Assessment Office has authority to recapture taxable value in instances where property owners have received homestead benefits erroneously.

  • General Homestead Exemption
    This exemption lowers the equalized assessed value of your property by $6,000. The property must be the principal residence of the owner and can only be claimed on one property. You can apply for the exemption online or at the Township Assessor’s office.
  • Home Improvement Exemption
    This exemption defers, for four years, any increase in the assessment of your property due to an addition or other improvement to your home for which the Township Assessor would add value. A maximum of $25,000 of assessed value may be deferred under this program. Your local Township Assessor initiates this exemption.
  • Senior Homestead Exemption
    This exemption lowers the equalized assessed value of your property by $5,000 for those at least 65 years of age by December 31 of the assessment year. This exemption may be claimed in addition to the General Homestead Exemption. There is no annual renewal for this exemption.

    Applicants will need to provide proof of age (ex. driver's license, state ID), and proof of ownership (copy of the deed). If the property is in a trust, we must verify that the applicant is a beneficiary of that trust. The exemptions cannot be applied without this verification. Please include a copy of that part of the actual trust agreement which states that the applicant is a beneficiary. This can usually be found on the first few pages of the trust document. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact your Township Assessor.

    You can apply for the exemption online or at the Township Assessor’s office.
  • Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze
    This exemption freezes the assessment of your home, but does not freeze the tax rate. This exemption may be claimed in addition to those described above. The actual taxes you pay may continue to increase based on the amounts levied by the taxing bodies where you reside (school districts, park districts, county, village/city, township, etc.).

    The base assessment used in the Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption initially equals the assessed value from the prior year tax calculation. In subsequent years, if the new assessed value is lower than their original base value, the new lower value becomes the new base amount. Because this exemption provides for a base year frozen assessment, it will potentially provide increased savings each year a senior is eligible.

    To qualify, applicants must be at least 65 years of age by December 31st of the assessment year, own the property as their principal residence for the past two January 1, and have a total household income of $65,000 or less.

    You can apply for the exemption online or at the Township Assessor’s office. This exemption must be renewed on an annual basis. Applications are mailed to all taxpayers that are receiving the Senior Homestead Exemption each year in the spring.
  • Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Program
    This program is designed to allow senior citizens to defer part or all of the property taxes on their personal residence. This program functions as a state loan with a 6% simple interest rate. A lien will be placed on your property with repayment upon death or sale of home. The program may be utilized for multiple years, if you meet the qualifications, but you must file a new application each year. Those that have a current mortgage, 2nd mortgage or reverse mortgage must check with their lending institution to see if you qualify. Your completed application must be notarized and returned by March 1.

    Applicant must be 65 years old as of June 1st of the tax year claimed with a total household income of $55,000 or less. Loan shall not exceed $5,000 per taxpayer per year. Property cannot be income producing and must provide proof of house insurance. The cumulative amount of the deferral plus interest cannot exceed the market value less the value of any liens. Taxes may be paid at any time without affecting the deferral status.

    Please contact the Lake County Treasurer’s Office at 847-377-2323 for a Tax Deferral Application or if you have any questions.
  • Benefit Access Program
    The Benefit Access Program, formerly known as Circuit Breaker, is for qualified seniors and disabled citizens to receive help with transit rides and license plate discounts. For qualification information, you should contact the Illinois Department of Revenue.

    Illinois Department on Aging
    1 Natural Resources Way
    Suite 100
    Springfield, IL 62702-1271
    Phone: 800-252-8966
    TTY: 888-206-1327
    Email: Aging.ILSenior@illinois.gov
    Website: https://www2.illinois.gov/aging/pages/default.aspx
  • Disabled Persons Exemption
    Annually exempts $2,000 from assessed value of the property and may be claimed in addition to the General Homestead Exemption and the Senior Homestead Exemption, if applicable. This exemption cannot be claimed in addition to the Disabled Veterans' Standard Homestead Exemption or the Disabled Veterans' Exemption up to $100,000; you can only receive one of these exemptions and, if you are a veteran, you should choose to apply for the one most beneficial to you.

    To qualify, applicants must own the property as their principal residence on or before January 1st of the tax year. Be disabled under the Federal Social Security Act and supply required documentation. A copy of your Illinois Disabled Person Identification Card stating Class 2 disability, Proof of Social Security Administration Social Security Benefits, Proof of Veterans Administration disability benefits showing a total 100% disability, or Proof of Railroad or Civil Service disability benefits showing a total 100% disability.

    You can apply for the exemption online or at the Township Assessor’s office. An annual verification of eligibility must be filled out each year in order to continue to receive the exemption. The Chief County Assessment Office will mail this verification form each year to all applicants who received the exemption in the prior year.
  • Returning Veterans Exemption
    Provides a $5,000 reduction from the assessed value of the veteran’s principal residence for two consecutive assessment years, the tax year and the following year that the veteran returns from active duty in an armed conflict involving the United States.

    To qualify, applicants must be an Illinois resident who has served as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, Illinois National Guard, or U.S. Reserve Forces, have returned from active duty in an armed conflict involving the armed forces of the U.S., have owned or had a legal or equitable interest in the land on which a single-family residence is situated and used as your principal place of residence on January 1 of the assessment years, and be liable for the payment of the property taxes. You can apply for the exemption online or at the Township Assessor’s office.
  • Disabled Veterans Standard Exemption
    The SHEVD provides an annual reduction in the equalized assessed value of a primary residence occupied by a veteran with a disability, or the veteran's surviving spouse, on January 1 of the assessment year OR the first month following the transfer of ownership of the property to the veteran. The SHEVD amount depends on the percentage of the service-connected disability as certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs. If the veteran has a service-connected disability of 30% or more but less than 50%, then the annual exemption is $2,500; if the veteran has a service-connected disability of 50% or more but less than 70%, then the annual exemption is $5,000; and if the veteran has a service-connected disability of 70% or more, then the residential property is exempt from taxation under this Code.

    To qualify for the SHEVD, the veteran must:
    • be an Illinois resident who served as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty or state active duty, Illinois National Guard, or U.S. Reserve Forces, and who has an honorable discharge;
    • have at least a 30 percent service-connected disability certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs; and
    • own and occupy the property as the primary residence on January 1 of the assessment year OR the first month following the transfer of ownership of the property to the veteran.
    • have a total equalized assessed value (EAV) of less than $250,000.
    An un-remarried surviving spouse of a disabled veteran can continue to receive this exemption on his or her spouse's homestead property or transfer the exemption to a new primary residence. Additionally, the unmarried surviving spouse of a service member killed in the line of duty is exempt from paying property taxes on the primary residence.

    You can apply for the exemption online or at the Township Assessor’s office. An annual verification of eligibility must be filled out each year in order to continue to receive the exemption. The Chief County Assessment Office will mail this verification form each year to all applicants who received the exemption in the prior year.
  • Disabled Veterans Exemption (Special Adapted Housing)
    Under this program, up to $100,000 of the equalized assessed value of a home owned by a qualifying veteran or the veteran’s spouse or unmarried surviving spouse, is exempt from property taxes. To qualify for this exemption, you must have a disability of such nature that the Federal Government has authorized payment for the purchase or construction of housing which has special adaptations to meet the needs of your disability.

    You apply for this exemption through the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs. Once the exemption has been approved, the Chief County Assessment Office is notified by the Illinois Department of Revenue of the veterans eligible for this program. Please note that you are only eligible if you live in specially adapted housing that the Federal Government authorized payment for due to your disability. If you qualify, this exemption must be renewed each year.

    You may obtain the required forms for specially adapted housing from the:
    Veteran's Affairs Medical Center - North Chicago
    Building 135, Ground Floor
    3001 Green Bay Road
    North Chicago, IL 60064
    Phone: 847-689-4153

When you are applying for a new exemption and the property is held in trust, we must verify that the applicant is a beneficiary of that trust. The exemptions cannot be applied without this verification. Please include a copy of that part of the actual trust agreement which states that the applicant is a beneficiary. This can usually be found on the first few pages of the trust document. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact your local Township Assessor.