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Chief County Assessment News

Posted on: January 25, 2021

Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Information

Property owners age 65 and older who have total household incomes of $65,000 or less are encouraged to apply for the Senior Citizen’s Assessment Freeze.  While applications were not required for this program in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, applications WILL BE REQUIRED in 2021.  All applications must be submitted online by July 31, 2021 through the Chief County Assessment Office Smart E-Filing Portal. If you need help with the online application, please reach out to the Chief County Assessment Office or your local township assessor’s office (see more information below).  

This senior freeze program may reduce your property tax bill by freezing the taxable equalized assessed value of your property, which impacts the total tax you pay.  It does NOT freeze your taxes, but it protects you from tax increases due to rising property values. Even if you have applied for and been granted the freeze exemption in prior years, you must renew your application annually. 

All Lake County residents who had a Senior Homestead Exemption in 2020 will receive a letter in the mail in February with information about the senior freeze program. 

Who Should Apply

To apply for the senior freeze exemption, the applicant must: 

  • Be 65 years or older 
  • Have a total household income of $65,000 or less for 2020 
  • Have owned and occupied the home on Jan. 1, 2020 and Jan. 1, 2021 

How to Apply:

In 2021, all applications must be submitted online.

  • Have a copy of your 2020 tax return handy, as well as your property PIN number 
  • Go to the Chief County Assessment Office Smart E-Filing Portal at 
  • 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, 2021, and your property PIN, and follow the instructions 
  • Note that while you do not need to submit proof of income, the Chief County Assessment Office may ask for additional information from you when reviewing your application. 
  • If the property is owned in trust, proof of beneficiary of the trust may also be required. 

Where to Get Help Completing the Online Application: 

  • Watch a video with Chief County Assessment Officer Bob Glueckert, who demonstrates step-by-step how to apply online for the senior freeze and other exemptions, including those with disabilities.  
  • Call or visit the Chief County Assessment Office Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., 847-377-2050; 18 N. County St., Waukegan, 7th Floor
  • Call or visit your local township assessor’s office. Calling ahead for hours of operation is recommended.

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