Low-Income Senior Citizen's Assessment Freeze


The Low-Income Senior Freeze provides limited-income seniors with 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 Low-Income 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. 


To qualify, applicants must:

  • Be 65 years of age or older
  • Have owned and occupied the home as their principal residence on Jan. 1 of the past two years
  • Have a total household income of $65,000 or less
  • Apply for the exemption each year

To Apply:  

All applications must be submitted online through the Smartfile E-Filing Portal.  You can receive assistance by phone or in person by calling or visiting the Chief County Assessment Office, your local township assessor’s office or click here for our help guide. 

To start the application process:

  • Have a copy of your tax return handy (for example to file for 2023 you will need a copy of your 2022 tax return)

    • A homeowner who is enrolled in any of the following programs: Aid to the Aged, Blind or Disabled (AABD) Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), The Benefit Access Program or Senior Citizen's Real Estate Tax Deferral Program, should submit certification of enrollment in place of the requested prior years tax return. 

  • Go to the Chief County Assessment Office Smart E-Filing Portal at assessor.lakecountyil.gov

  • Log in to your account, create a new account, or log in as a guest

  • Click “Available Filings”

    • EX02: Senior Freeze Application (Annual)

  • Click “Begin Filing” and follow the instructions

Note: You will need to submit proof of income when filing. 

Properties Held in Trust

When you are applying for a new exemption and the property is held in trust, we must verify that the applicant is a current living 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 us directly at 847-377-2100.