Exemptions Information

What is the Illinois Homestead Exemption Program, and who qualifies? 

 

There are seven different types of exemptions, this program will 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. Qualifications and application procedures vary for each program. However, you must own the property to qualify for any of these exemptions.

FILE ONLINE

SMARTFILE

Residents can now apply for any homestead exemption ONLINE

 - General Homestead Exemption
 - Senior Homestead Exemption
 - Disabled Veterans Exemption (renewal form to come)
 - Disabled Persons Exemption (renewal form to come)
 - Senior Freeze Exemption

 

Signing up is easy, all you need is a valid email address. By creating an account you will have instant access to all of your submissions made online.

For more Information and instructions please visit our SmartFile Page

General EXEMPTIONS

General Homestead Exemption (GHE)

Exemption Amount: $6,000 Assessed

Requirements

  • Own the property and occupy as your permanent residence as of January 1st of the assessment year.

  • Homeowner initiates  at our office.

Homestead Improvement Exemption (HIE)

Exemption Amount:

$25,000 Assessed /  $75,000 Market

This exemption defers for four years any increase in assessment of your property due to an addition or other improvement to your home for which the Township Assessor would add value.

Requirements:

  • Own the property, and occupy as your primary permanent residence.

  • Receiving General Homestead Exemption (GHE)

  • The Assessor's office initiates this exemption.

SENIORS EXEMPTIONS & PROGRAMS

Senior Homestead Exemption (SHE)

Exemption Amount: $5,000 Assessed

 

Requirements:

  • Have owned and lived on the property during the tax year.

  • Reached age of 65 during the tax year.

  • Apply for the exemption at our office.  
     

You will need to bring proof of age (ID) when you apply and if property is in a trust, bring the trust in to our office.

Senior Assessment Freeze (PTAX-340)
Exemption freezes the assessment on your property. It does NOT freeze your taxes.

Requirements:

  • Have fulfilled a property residency requirement.

  • Be age 65 or older.

  • Household Income less than $65,000 

  • Apply for the exemption at our office.

  • Application mus be notarized.

  • This exemption requires annual verification of eligibility. 

Our office offers FREE notary services.  
 

Senior Citizens Tax Deferral Program

  • This program is designed to allow senior citizens to defer part or all of the property taxes on their home.

  • This program functions as a loan, with an annual interest rate of six percent.
     

Benefit Access Program

Benefits:

Seniors Ride Free Transit Benefit

Persons with Disabilities Free Transit Ride

Secretary of State License Plate Discount

Requirements:

  • Must be 65 or older or 16+ disabled

  • Must live in Illinois

  • Total income Maximum Limits:

    • $27,610 for 1 person household 

    • $36,635 for 2 person household

    • $45,657 for 3 person household

VETERANS & DISABLED PERSONS

Disabled Persons Homestead Exemption (HEPD) PTAX-343

Exemption Amount: $2,000 Assessed
 

Requirements:

  • Have owned and lived on of before January 1 of the tax year.

  • Be disabled under the Federal Social Security Act and supply either:

    • A copy ​of your Illinois Disabled Person ID Card stating that you are class 2 or 2A disability for each year you qualify; or

    • Proof of Social Security Benefits. Proof includes an award letter, verification letter, or annual COLA

  • This exemption requires annual verification of eligibility. 

Standard Exemption for Veterans with Disabilities (SHEVD) PTAX-342

This exemption cannot be claimed in addition to the Disabled Persons Homestead exemption.

 

Requirements:

  • Be a Lake County Illinois resident

  • Have served in the United States Armed Forces, The Illinois National Guard or the U.S Reserve forces, and have received an honorable discharge

  • Have at least a 30% service-connected disability certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

  • Have a total equalized assessed value (EAV) of less than $250,000

  • This exemption requires annual verification of eligibility. 

Current Military Exemption
Military personnel on active duty out of state or overseas for extended periods are eligible to defer payment of their taxes under the provisions of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act

Returning Veteran Exemption PTAX-341

Lowers the equalized assessed value of your property by $5,000 in the year you returned from active duty in an armed conflict. It is a one-year exemption.

 
General Homestead Exemption (GHE)
  • Own the property, and occupy as your permanent residence as of January 1st of the assessment year.
          Can only receive on one property.
          Fines will be issues for Homeowners receiving more than one Homestead Limited Exemption

  • Homeowner initiates this with The Township Assessor's Office.
             Exemption Amount – a $6,000 reduction in the Equalized Assessed Value of the property

Print the General Homestead Limited Exemption Application (PDF)

You can now also submit the form Online! Click Here to Fill Online Homestead Application

 
Senior Homestead Exemption (SHE)

This exemption lowers the equalized assessed value of the property by $5,000. This exemption may be claimed in addition to the General Homestead Exemption.

  • Have owned and lived on the property during the tax year as their principal residence.

  • Have reached age 65 during the tax year.

  • Apply for the exemption at the Township Assessor’s Office.
    You will need to bring proof of age (ex. driver's license, state ID) with you when you apply. 

    If property is in a trust, a copy of trust is needed.

 

     Exemption Amount – a $5,000 reduction in the Equalized Assessed Value of the property


This exemption may be claimed in addition to the General Homestead Exemption.  There is no annual renewal for this exemption.

Senior Homestead Exemption Application (PDF)

You can now also submit the form Online! Click Here to Fill Online Homestead Application

 
Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption

The Senior Freeze provides seniors with limited income protection against real estate tax increases due to rising property values. It is not a tax freeze or a tax reduction and does not protect against increased taxes due to tax rate increases. Because this exemption provides for a base year frozen assessment, it will potentially provide increased savings each year a senior is eligible. 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. 

 

This exemption freezes the assessment on your property, but does not freeze the tax rate. This exemption may be claimed in addition to those described above. You need to understand that the actual taxes which you pay may continue to increase based upon the amounts levied by the taxing bodies where you reside (school districts, park district, village or city, township, etc.)

For the filing deadlines for this exemption. Please call Chief County Assessment Office at (847) 377-2050.

 

* Please note that the "Senior Citizens Tax Freeze Homestead Exemption" must be renewed annually.


Requirements

  • Have a total household income of no more than $65,000 (starting in 2018).

  • Have fulfilled a property residency requirement as explained on the application form.

  • Be age 65 or older.

  • Obtain an application for the exemption at the Township Assessor’s office.


          Your completed application for the Senior Tax Freeze Homestead Exemption must be notarized & returned to: 

 

Antioch Township Assessor's Office
Assessors office offers FREE notary service


OR 

  

Chief County of Assessment Office
18 North County Street
Waukegan, Illinois 60085

Print the Senior Citizen's Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption Application 2018 (PDF)

Print the Senior Citizen's Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption Application 2019 (PDF)

 

You can now also submit the form Online! Click Here to Fill Online Homestead Application

 
Homestead 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.

  • Own the property, and occupy as your permanent residence.

  • The Township Assessor’s Office initiates this exemption.

 

    Exemption Amount – A maximum deduction $25,000 of Equalized Assessed Value / $75,000 Market

Benefit Access Program
(formerly known as Circuit Breaker and Pharmaceutical Assistance Claim)

The benefits now available are:

  • Seniors Free Transit Ride

  • The Persons with Disabilities Free Transit Ride

  • Secretary of State License Plate Discount

Do I qualify for the Benefit Access Program?
Note:
 Use of the word spouse also includes a civil union partner.
Apply on the Benefit Access Application if you meet the following requirements:

 

Age

  • you must be 65 years of age or older by December 31 of the current year; or 

  • you must be 16 years of age or older and totally disabled before January 1 of this year.

NOTE:  "Person with a disability" means a person unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.  [320 ILCS 25/3.14]

Residency

  • you must live in Illinois at the time you file your application.
     

Income Limit Eligibility for the License Plate discount and/or Ride Free Transit Card:
Your total income last year must be less than

  • $27,610 for a 1 person household (yourself only); or

  • $36,635 for a 2 person household (yourself and your spouse, or yourself and one Qualified Additional Resident); or

  • $45,657 for a 3 person household (yourself, your spouse and one Qualified Additional Resident, or yourself and two Qualified Additional Residents).

NOTE:  You must include your spouse's income if married and living together on December 31 of last year. If your spouse died last year, you would file as single and claim only your income. Do NOT include the income of a Qualified Additional Resident.

*Click here for a list of what is considered income.

Expiration
Eligibility is good for two years under the Benefit Access Program. The two-year period starts at the time your application is approved. You may file again beginning 90 days before your eligibility expires.

 

To be determined eligible for these benefits, you must submit a Benefit Access Application on the InternetPaper applications are not available Please note that current processing times to determine eligibility of your Benefits Access Application is approximately 12 weeks. 

 

Once your application is approved you may print a note of eligibility to take to your local transit authority or Secretary of State Office.

Please wait 10 business days from the date of your approval for your license plate discount to be available.

If you requested the ride free benefit, please contact your local public transit system for further information.

Your local transit system may have additional requirements in order to obtain the free ride. 

 

You can check the Website at anytime to determine your application status here

 

For information or help applying, visit a local office of the following:

Senior Health Assistance Program​​ or Area Agency on Aging

 

Call toll-free:

1-800-252-8966 or 1-888-206-1327 (TTY)

Note: Have your Social Security number ready when you call.

 

E-mail: Aging.ILSenior@illinois.gov

Website: www.cbrx.il.gov

 
Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Program

What is the Senior Citizens Tax Deferral Program and who qualifies? This program is designed to allow senior citizens to defer payment of part or all of the property taxes on their home. This program functions as a loan, with an annual interest rate of six percent. The Senior Citizens Tax Deferral is a state program that allows qualified senior citizens to defer up to $5,000 per year of the property taxes on their personal residence.

Sample Application for Senior Tax Deferral (PDF)

Sample Senior Tax Deferral Recovery Agreement (PDF)

 

General Information:

  • This is a state loan with a 6% simple interest rate.

  • Repayment must be made upon death, sale of home or refinancing.

  • A lien will be placed on your property.

  • The program may be utilized for multiple years, if you meet the qualifications.

  • Must file a new application between January 1st and March 1st each year.

  • You may apply for other senior tax programs even though you are on the deferral program.

  • If you have a mortgage or reverse mortgage arrangement, you should verify with your lender whether or not your agreement allows you to participate in the tax deferral program.

 

Requirements of Eligibility:

  • Applicant must be 65 years old as of June 1st of the tax year claimed.

  • Total household income $55,000 or less.

  • Maximum shall not exceed $5,000 per taxpayer per year.

  • Proof of house insurance.

  • Property cannot be income producing, such as rental income.

  • Applicant must own and occupy residence.

  • Property taxes must be current at the time of application.

  • 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.

 

* Note: The filing deadline for the program is March 1 of the tax year.

 

Assistance with filling out the form, and further processing of completed forms are available from:

Lake County Treasurer

18 North County Street

Waukegan, Illinois 60085

Please contact the Lake County Treasurer’s Office at 847-377-2323 for a Tax Deferral Application.

 
Homestead Exemption for Persons with Disabilities (HEPD)

This exemption lowers the equalized assessed value of your property by $2,000 starting in tax year 2007, and may be claimed in addition to the General Homestead Exemption and the Senior Citizen's Homestead Exemptions, if applicable. This exemption cannot be claimed in addition to the Disabled Veterans' Standard Homestead Exemption or the Disabled Veterans' Exemption of $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.

Exemption Amount – $2,000 on the equalized assessed value

 

To qualify and receive this exemption, you must:

Antioch Township Assessor's Office

OR

Chief County Assessment Office
18 North County Street
Waukegan, Illinois 60085-4335

 
Current Military Exemption

Deferment Information
Military personnel on active duty out-of-state or overseas for extended periods that include the due date for real-estate taxes are eligible to defer payment of their taxes under the provisions of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act and related Illinois statutes.
Instead of the penalties, costs and fees for real-estate taxes normally imposed under Illinois law, the penalties can be waived through 180 days after the return from active duty of the member of the military who owns the real estate in question.

This application form may be completed by the military service person, his/her adult
dependent or any other individual authorized by the service person to act on his/her
behalf.

Please complete the information below, attach a copy of the military order and
file the form with the Lake County Treasurer’s Office.

Property Tax Relief
Property Tax Relief for Military Personnel (PDF)

 
Standard Homestead Exemption for Veterans with Disabilities (SHEVD)

This exemption provides a reduction in equalized assessed value (outlined below) of a primary residence occupied by a veteran with a disability, or the veteran's surviving spouse. This exemption can be claimed in addition to the General Homestead Exemption and the Senior Homestead Exemption. However, it cannot be claimed in addition to the Disabled Veterans Exemption (specially adaptive housing) of $100,000, or the Homestead Exemption for Persons with Disabilities.

* Please note that this exemption must be renewed annually. *

To qualify a veteran must:

  • Be a Lake County, Illinois resident and have served in the United States Armed Forces, The Illinois National Guard, or U.S. Reserve Forces, and have received an honorable discharge.

  • Have at least a 30% service-connected disability certified by the U.S Department of Veterans' Affairs.

  • Have a total equalized assessed value (EAV) of less than $250,000.

  • Have owned and occupied the property as the primary residence on or before January 1st of the tax year.

  • Supply documentation as required by the instructions on the back of the form.

  • 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.
    To qualify, the surviving spouse must meet the following requirements:

    • Sell the disabled veteran's previous homestead property before transferring this exemption to his or her new primary residence.

    • Own and occupy the property as a primary residence and hold a legal or beneficial title to the property on January 1 of the assessment year.

    • Have a total equalized assessed value (EAV) of less than $250,000.

 

The benefit of the exemption is as follows:

  • A disabled veteran with a 70% or higher service-connected disability will be tax exempt.

  • A disabled veteran with at least 50%, but less than 70% service-connected disability will receive a $5,000 reduction in the property's EAV.

  • A disabled veteran with at least 30%, but less than 50% service-connected disability will receive a $2,500 reduction in property's EAV.

 

This exemption is limited to residential property with an equalized assessed value of less than $250,000.

 

If you are applying for this exemption and the property is held in trust, the law requires that we verify the applicant is a beneficiary of that trust. The exemption cannot be applied without this verification. Please include a copy of that part of the trust agreement which states that the applicant is the beneficiary. This can usually be found on the first few pages of the trust document.

 

First-time applicants can obtain forms from the Chief County Assessment Office or your local township assessor’s office.

 

Please note that this exemption will require annual verification of eligibility. The Chief County Assessment Office will mail the appropriate forms each year to all disabled veterans or their surviving spouses who received the exemption in the prior year.

Applications

​​

Your completed application must be returned to:

Antioch Township Assessor's Office

OR

Chief County Assessment Office

18 North County Street

Waukegan, Illinois 60085-4335

 
Returning Veterans Homestead Exemption

This exemption provides a $5,000 reduction in the equalized assessed value of a veteran’s principal residence upon returning from active duty in an armed conflict involving the armed forces of the United States.

 

The benefit of the exemption is as follows:

  • The exemption is for two consecutive tax years, the tax year that the veteran returns from active duty in an armed conflict involving the armed forces of the United States and the following year. A veteran who acquires a principal residence after January 1 of the year he or she returns home is eligible for the exemption on the principal residence owned and occupied on January 1 of the following tax year.

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.

​​

  • If you were discharged from active duty, Supply a copy of your DD214

  • If you are still on active duty, Supply a copy of your most recent military orders and travel voucher showing the date of your return.

The documents must state that you are returning from an armed conflict involving the U.S Armed Forces within the tax year for which you are requesting the exemption.

If you are applying for this exemption and the property is held in trust, the law requires that we verify the applicant is a beneficiary of that trust. The exemption cannot be applied without this verification. Please include a copy of that part of the trust agreement which states that the applicant is the beneficiary. This can usually be found on the first few pages of the trust document.

Applications

A veteran is eligible to receive the exemption for another tax year in which the veteran returns from active duty. Applicants must file a Form PTAX-341, Application for Returning Veterans’ Homestead Exemption, with the Chief County Assessment Office or your local township assessor’s office.

​​

Your completed application must be returned to:

Chief County Assessment Office

18 North County Street

Waukegan, Illinois 60085-4335