Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Property Tax Relief

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."


  1. Good advice.

    The homeowner's exemption wasn't applied to a neighbor's tax bill. They're filing a correction now and will receive a large refund.

    My mother failed to apply for the senior freeze. The Assessor's office was extremely helpful and made sure we received the rebates.

    It can really pay to check your bill.

  2. Suzanne can you tell me more about how they're filing a correction? The same thing happened to me!

  3. Thanks for this! I didnt do a homeowners exemption and thought it was too late. I went over to City Hall (3rd floor) with my tax bill and in about 15 minutes the exemption was applied and I was printed a new, lower, tax bill.

  4. You can file a correction by submitting a certificate of error for up to the past 3 years. The forms are in the link in the original post. You have to file a form for each year to be corrected and they will either correct your tax bill or actually cut you a check for the overage.

    If you're not sure how to do it, you can call the Assessor's office at 312-443-7550 or go to the office like Hollywood Beach.

    I really hope more people spread the word about this exemption!!!

  5. Hollywood and Marathon are right. A quick trip to City Hall is all it takes. They do it on the spot. As for the refunds though, they get take awhile. It was a month or more on Mom's refunds. If you file tomorrow, you could well have some extra dough by Christmas (or for the bills that come later ;-) Good luck and let us know how it goes for you.