Assessor Berrios Collects Close to $2 Million for Erroneous Exemptions Claimed by Taxpayers

The following article was released from the Cook County Assessor's Office on January 15, 2014.

Amnesty Period Allowing for Repayment Without Penalties and Interest Concluded December 31, 2013
CHICAGO–Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios announced today that his office has collected close to $2 million since July 1, 2013, for erroneous exemption savings received by taxpayers.
This money was collected as a result of a new law that was unanimously passed by both the House and Senate last year. Assessor Berrios proposed the measure in order to give his office the means to recoup funds from those who have improperly received property tax exemptions.
"By law, a person is allowed to collect an exemption only on the home that is his or her primary residence," Berrios explained. "This new law was desperately needed, as we never had anything in place to deter taxpayers from claiming erroneous exemptions or any means to help recover the money they have unfairly received."
The new law provided an amnesty period for individuals who wrongly claimed an exemption(s). This amnesty period extended until December 31st, 2013 and allowed a person who wrongly claimed one or two erroneous exemptions prior to the 2013 tax year, to repay the amount received from the exemption(s) without penalty or interest or threat of civil and or criminal prosecution.  A taxpayer who claimed three or more exemptions in error was not eligible for amnesty. Notice of the amnesty period was provided in second-installment tax bills mailed last year and was also published in the newspaper. As a result of the amnesty period, $1,896,618.64 was collected from July 1st, 2013 through December 31st. 
Taxpayers may visit the Assessor’s Web site at to obtain additional information regarding the new law and information detailing how to report erroneous exemption savings they have received.  The Web site also allows taxpayers to anonymously report erroneous exemptions they may be aware of, to ensure that all taxpayers pay their fair share.

"I am extremely proud of the work and extensive research that went into the development of this new exemption fraud law," Berrios said.  "The money we are collecting will not only have a dramatic and positive impact on the entire county but will also help ensure that all taxpayers are only paying their fair share in property taxes." 

739 Elm Street, Winnetka, Illinois 60093 P. (847) 446-8202 F. (847) 446-1743
© New Trier Twonship. All Rights Reserved.