Winnebago County
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Senior Citizen Exemption Information


SENIOR CITIZEN HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION

Who is eligible?
To qualify you must:

  • be age 65 or older any time in the assessment year for which the application is made.

  • own and occupy the property during the application year.

  • be liable for the payment of real estate taxes on the property.

How to apply:
Newly eligible senior taxpayers must complete an initial application, supply proof of age and verify property ownership. Applications and guidelines are available from the Supervisor of Assessments Office.  CLICK HERE for this ONE-TIME APPLICATION which will be renewed automatically every year as long as the senior owns and occupies their residence. If you are already receiving the Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption, there is no need to reapply.  

What benefits does this exemption provide? The Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption provides a $5,000 reduction from the equalized assessed valuation. For a senior whose property is subject to a hypothetical tax rate of 10.00 per one hundred dollars of assessed value the Senior Citizen Exemption results in a tax savings of $500 ($5,000 x .10000). The Owner Occupied Exemption is automatically granted with this Senior Citizen Exemption. This provides an additional reduction of up to $6,000 from the equalized assessed value for a total tax savings of $1,100.

ASSESSMENT FREEZE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION

Who is eligible?
To qualify you must:

establish age, ownership and residency by applying for the Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption.

  • have a total household income (before deductions) of less than $55,000. This includes all taxable and non-taxable income.

  • own and occupy the property on January 1st of the application year and prior base year.

  • be liable for payment of real estate taxes on the property. In some cases, the surviving spouse of an eligible senior citizen may qualify.

How to apply.
Eligible senior taxpayers must complete an application (pink PTAX 340 form). This form must be signed and returned to the Supervisor of Assessments office. Income from all household members needs to be itemized and totaled for the year prior to the application year. All information acquired from the application is confidential and may be used only for official purposes. This exemption is required to be filed for every year by the July 1st deadline. Applications are mailed by the Supervisor of Assessments to those senior taxpayers who had the Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption the prior year.

What benefits does this exemption provide?
The Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption provides seniors with limited 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 during times of increasing assessments.

If a senior no longer qualifies for the Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption, taxes will then be based on the current "non-freeze" property assessment.

HOMESTEAD IMPROVEMENT EXEMPTION

This exemption reduces the Board of Review assessed value by the amount of increase in assessed value due to improvements added to an existing structure. It is available for single family residential properties which are occupied by the property owner as their principal dwelling. This exemption encourages the expansion and improvement of homes by exempting up to $25,000 in assessment increase for that addition for four (4) years from the date of completion.

Information and applications for these tax savings may be obtained from the

Supervisor of Assessments Office
404 Elm Street, Room 301
Rockford, IL 61101
Phone: (815) 319-4460

The Senior Citizen Exemptions described up to this point do not require repayment of the tax savings. The following program requires repayment of tax savings

SENIOR REAL ESTATE TAX DEFERRAL PROGRAM

Who is eligible?
To qualify you must:

  • Be age 65 or older by June 1st of the year for which the application is made.

  • Have a total household income of less than $55,000 or less.

  • Own (property must remain in senior's name) and occupied the property for at least 3 years.

  • For first time applicants, starting with the 2012 tax bills and thereafter, the only form of trust that the property can be held in is an Illinois Land Trust, with the applicant and spouse, identified as the sole beneficiary(s) of the trust.

  • Be liable for payment of real estate taxes on the property.

  • Have no delinquent real estate taxes or special assessments.

  • Beginning with the 2012 tax bill (payable in 2013), the maximum annual property tax bill deferral shall not exceed $5,000.00 per year. The lien fee amount for that year is not included in the $5,000.00 cap. Currently the law stated that a taxpayer may defer anywhere from 1% to 100% of their annual tax bill. Under this change, a taxpayer with an annual tax bill of $5,200.00 will only be able to defer $5,000.00. It will be the taxpayer's responsibility to pay the remaining $200.00 to the county.

  • File an application by March 1st.

How to apply.
Application and guidelines are available from the Winnebago County Treasurer, 404 Elm St., Rm 205, Rockford, IL 61101. Phone: (815) 319-4400

What benefits does this program provide? 
This program allows a qualifying senior to defer payment of real estate taxes on his or her personal residence. The State of Illinois pays the real estate taxes. Then when the senior sells the property or within a year of his or her death, repayment plus interest of 6% annually is made.

Winnebago County
404 Elm Street
Rockford, IL 61101
OFC: (815) 319-4444
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