Senior Citizens Seeking Tax Relief May Defer Up to $5,000 in Property Taxes Per Year

The Senior Citizen Tax Deferral Program allows seniors to defer as much as $5,000 of their property tax bill every year. Qualifications for the deferral program are:
o   Annual household income of less than $55,000
o   Equity in the home that exceeds the sum of property taxes deferred
o   Having lived in the home for at least three years
Small multi-family properties such as two-flats that generate rental income are not eligible for this program. Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, whose office administers the program, has set a deadline of March 1, 2015 for deferral applications.
The tax deferral program is essentially a loan from the state that is assessed simple interest of 6% per year. To assure repayment, a lien is placed on the senior’s home that will prevent the home from being sold until the loan is paid. 
Having a lien placed on a home is often considered a bad thing. But a home mortgage is also a lien on the home, and no one views mortgages in a negative light. Liens, whether for mortgages or property taxes, are merely designed to ensure that the money lent is repaid.
There are some circumstances, however, where senior citizens might not want a lien on their homes. Seniors uncertain about whether to apply should discuss the matter with legal advisers, financial advisers or family members. Applications and assistance in applying are available at the North Shore Senior Center by appointment.
If you are eligible for the property tax deferral, you should also be eligible for the senior freeze and the senior homestead exemptions. By also applying for these senior benefits you will reduce your property tax liability, which reduces the amount of deferred tax that will eventually have to be repaid. For assistance with exemptions, please call the New Trier Assessor’s Office at 847-446-8200.


739 Elm Street, Winnetka, Illinois 60093 P. (847) 446-8202 F. (847) 446-1743
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