Senior Citizen's Assessment Freeze

Benefit:

The 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 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. 

Qualifications:  

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:  

Beginning in 2020, 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 or the local township assessor’s office.  To start the application process:

  • Have a copy of your 2019 tax return handy, as well as your property PIN number

  • 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” and choose “EX – Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption”

  • Click “Begin Filing”

  • Enter the tax year, 2020, and your property PIN, and follow the instructions

  • Note that while you do not need to submit proof of income when filing, the Chief County Assessment Office may request to verify income when reviewing your application.

  • If the property is owned in trust, proof of beneficiary of the trust will also be required if you have not previously provided it 

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 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.