Changes in Cook County Senior Home Exemption

Real Estate Agent with Baird & Warner Real Estate




Good news! Senior taxpayers will no longer have to apply every year for the Senior Home Exemption. Until now, Cook County was the only Illinois county to force seniors to reapply annually.


If you already have the Senior Exemption you don’t need to do anything - your exemption will renew automatically - at least that’s what they’re saying now. I spoke with Jan Churchwell, the New Trier Township Assessor, who said she’s not sure it will work that way. It might be possible that everyone who is 65 or older will need to apply regardless if you’ve done it before. Keep tuned for the final word on that.


Seniors not currently receiving the exemption and those than turn 65 in 2019 will have to apply one time in 2020. After that, it will renew automatically.


The Senior Tax Exemption is a savings in the form of a deduction on the second installment of your property tax bill. A Senior Exemption is calculated by multiplying the Senior Exemption savings amount ($8000) by your local tax rate. Your local tax rate is determined by the Cook County Clerk and can be found on your second-installment tax bill or by contacting the Cook County Clerk’s Office at 312-603-6566.


The Senior Freeze, a separate tax exemption with rules, will still need to be applied for every year.


What are the eligibility requirements for receiving the Senior Exemption?


  • You must be at least 65 years of age during the tax year for which you are applying

  • You must either own the property or have a lease or contract which makes you responsible for paying the taxes. 

  • The property must be your principal residence. 


How do you apply and what documents do you need?Paperwork


  • Complete and sign the Senior Citizen Exemption Application Form (found at the site shown below.)

  • Supply a recent tax bill that includes your address and index number. 

  • Submit one document that shows your proof of age. This can be your driver’s license, Illinois Identification Card, Alien Registration Card, Social Security Form 2458, naturalization papers, or birth certificate. 


More information can be found at: Cook County Assessor’s Office






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Margaret Goss is a full-time real estate broker since 1998 working in the North Shore communities of Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Glencoe, Northfield, Glenview, and Evanston.

She can be reached at:

Phone:  847-977-6024


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Specializing in homes for sale in Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Northfield, Glencoe, Glenview, Northbrook, and Evanston.

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Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Margaret. With all that is going on with real estate taxes in Cook County, knowing how to get a break is even more important. Thanks! Enjoy your day!

Sep 07, 2019 06:09 AM #1
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Margaret:

Well that was certainly good news for seniors, and some great information overall. What a terrific marketing piece this would make!!


Sep 10, 2019 02:53 PM #2
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

I know there are some southern states that offer this benefit...glad to hear it is migrating north....Wisconsin should take notice !

Sep 11, 2019 01:33 AM #3
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

I like the idea of a tax break for senior citizens, and Hawaii needs to do something like this too.

Sep 18, 2019 06:47 PM #4
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Margaret Goss

Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate
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