A reader writes in...
"I found out from my neighbor a few months ago that I can get a credit on my property taxes if it's my principal place of residence. I looked at the Cook County Assessor's website and it looks like there are several types of exemptions including homeowners, senior citizens, home improvements, veterans and the disabled. The list of exemptions are located here and all of the forms are here.
You can submit a certificate of error for up to the past 3 years. I submitted the certificate of error form in September with a copy of my driver's license, showing that I've lived in the home since 2007. I got a Certificate of Error Recommended Tax Bill in the mail yesterday that reduced 2008 taxes by $280. Not a huge percentage in terms of the amount of my taxes - but $280 is still a lot of money and worth the minimal effort. It's better than my property tax appeal which only resulted in a decrease of $150. I'm still waiting to hear official word on 2007, but I think they sent this notice to me now since those taxes are due on December 1st.
Before I sent the forms in, I called the Cook County Assessor's office and they were very helpful and answered all of my questions. I was pleasantly surprised by this entire experience and I thought I should share the information with more people so that no one else misses out on any of these potential exemptions."