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.
To qualify, applicants must:
Be 65 years of age or older
Own the property as their principal residence for the past two January 1
Have a total household income of $65,000 or less
Applications can be filed electronically through the Smartfile E-Filing Portal or in person at the Chief County Assessment Office or the local township assessor's office. This exemption must be renewed on an annual basis. Applications are mailed to all taxpayers that are receiving the Senior Homestead Exemption each year in the spring.
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.