Exemptions

The Illinois Homestead Exemption Program offers several different programs designed to provide property tax relief to homeowners.  Through a variety of exemptions, this program lowers the equalized assessed valuation of your property to which the tax rate is applied to determine your property tax bill.  The following guide has been prepared  to provide general information regarding these programs and to answer the most frequently asked questions.  Eligibility requirements vary widely among these exemptions and it is important to review the criteria for each exemption carefully; however, in all cases you must live at the property to qualify for any of these exemptions.  All exemptions, except for the Homestead Improvement Exemption, are handled by the Boone County Supervisor of Assessments.  You can find the forms you need on their website http://www.boonecountyil.org/department/assessment or the Homestead Improvement Exemption form is available on this website under forms and documents.

The staff in the Township Assessor’s office will be happy to provide additional information and we encourage you to contact us if you have questions about these programs.

General Homestead Exemption

This exemption lowers the equalized assessed value of your property by $6,000. To receive this exemption, you must:

  • Have lived on the property which is your principal residence on or before January 1 of the tax year; otherwise, the value may be prorated for the portion of the year that the property was owner-occupied.

Homestead Improvement Exemption

This exemption allows a four-year deferment of any increase in the assessment of your property due to an addition or other improvement to your home for which the Township Assessor would add value.

  • A maximum of $75,000 of market ($25,000 assessed) value may be deferred under this program.
  • The Township Assessor’s office initiates this exemption.

Senior Homestead Exemption

This exemption lowers the equalized assessed value of your property by $5,000. To receive this exemption, you must:

  • Have lived on the property which is your principal residence on or before January 1 of the tax year; otherwise, the value may be prorated for the portion of the year that it was owner-occupied by a senior citizen.
  • Have reached age 65 during the tax year.
  • Apply for the exemption at the Township Assessor’s office. You will need to bring a copy of the deed to the property and proof of age with you when you apply. If the property is held in trust, you will also need a copy of the trust agreement indicating the beneficiary.

Senior Citizens’ Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption

This exemption freezes the assessment of your property if your total household income is $55,000 or less. This exemption may be claimed in addition to those described above. This exemption does not freeze your tax rate; you need to understand that the actual taxes that you pay may continue to increase based upon the amounts levied by the taxing bodies where you reside (e.g., schools, park district, village or city, township, etc.).

The filing deadline for this exemption is in July of each tax year (the actual due date may vary from year to year). Forms will be mailed in mid-May to all individuals who have a Senior Homestead Exemption. To receive this exemption, you must:

  • Have fulfilled a property residency requirement as explained on the application form.
  • Be age 65 or older.
  • Have a maximum household income of $55,000 for current tax year. This household income includes that of all persons using the property as their principal residence for the tax year.
  • Please note that this exemption must be renewed annually. The Supervisor of Assessments Office mails applications to all taxpayers receiving the Senior Homestead Exemption.
  • First-time applicants can obtain forms from the Supervisor of Assessments Office.

Disabled Persons’ Homestead Exemption

This exemption lowers the equalized assessed value of your property by $2,000  and may be claimed in addition to the General Homestead Exemption and the Senior Citizens’ Homestead Exemptions, if applicable. This exemption cannot be claimed in addition to the Disabled Veterans’ Standard Homestead Exemption or the Disabled Veterans’ Exemption of $70,000; you can receive only one of these exemptions and, if you are a veteran, you should choose to apply for the one most beneficial to you. To receive this exemption, you must:

  • Have lived on the property on or before January 1 of the tax year; otherwise, the value may be prorated for the portion of the year that it was owner-occupied by a qualified disabled person.
  • Be disabled under the Federal Social Security Act and supply either:
  • A copy of your Illinois Disabled Person Identification Card stating that you are under a Class 2 disability (for each year you qualify); or
  • Proof of Social Security Administration Social Security Benefits. This proof includes an award letter, verification letter, or annual cost of living adjustment (COLA).
  • Whichever you supply, it must indicate that the benefits are for disability; or
  • Proof of Veterans Administration disability benefits which would be an award letter showing total 100% disability; or
  • Proof of Railroad or Civil Service disability benefits which would be an award letter showing a total 100% disability.
  • Please note that this exemption requires annual renewal. The Supervisor of Assessments Office will mail forms each year to all disabled persons who received the exemption in the prior year.
  • First-time applicants can obtain forms from the Supervisor of Assessments Office.

Disabled Veterans’ Standard Homestead Exemption

This exemption may be claimed in addition to the General Homestead Exemption and the Senior Citizens’ Homestead Exemptions, if applicable; however, it cannot be claimed in addition to the Disabled Veteran’s Exemption of $70,000 or the Disabled Persons’ Homestead Exemption. To receive this exemption, you must:

  • Be a Boone County, Illinois, resident and have served in the United States Armed Forces, the Illinois National Guard, or U.S. Reserve Forces, and have received an honorable discharge.
  • Have at least a 50% service-connected disability certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
  • Have owned and occupied the property as the primary residence on or before January 1 of the tax year.
  • Supply documentation as required by the instructions on the back of the form.
  • Have a total equalized assessed value (EAV) of less than $250,000. An unmarried surviving spouse of a disabled veteran can continue to receive this exemption on his or her spouse’s homestead property or transfer the exemption to a new primary residence. To qualify, the surviving spouse must meet the following requirements;
  • Sell the disabled veteran’s previous homestead property before transferring this exemption to his or her new primary residence.
  • Own and occupy the property as a primary residence and hold a legal or beneficial title to the property on January 1 of the assessment year.
  • Have a total equalized assessed value (EAV) of less than $250,000.
  • Please note that this exemption will require annual application. The Supervisor of Assessments Office will mail applications each year to all disabled persons who received the exemption in the prior year.
  • First-time applicants can obtain forms from the Supervisor of Assessments Office.

Returning Veterans’ Homestead Exemption

This exemption lowers the equalized assessed value (EAV) of your property by $5,000 in the year you return from active duty in an armed conflict. It is a one-year exemption and can be claimed in addition to the General Homestead Exemption and any applicable Senior Citizens’ Exemptions. Note that a veteran who dies during his or her active duty service is eligible to receive this exemption. To receive this exemption, you must:

  • Own and occupy the property as your principal residence and have returned from active duty in 2007 or later.
  • If you were discharged from active duty, supply a copy of your DD214. If you are still on active duty, supply a copy of your most recent military orders and travel voucher showing the date of your return. The documents must state that you are returning from an armed conflict involving the U.S. Armed Forces within the tax year for which you are requesting the exemption.
  • Your completed application must be returned to:

Supervisor of Assessments

1208 Logan Avenue

Belvidere, IL 61008

Disabled Veterans’ Exemption

What is a Disabled Veterans’ Exemption and who qualifies?

Under this program, up to $70,000 of the equalized assessed value of a home owned by a qualifying veteran, or the veteran’s spouse or unmarried surviving spouse is exempt from property taxes. To qualify for this exemption, you must:

  • Have served in the Armed Forces of the United States.
  • Have a disability of such nature that the Federal Government has authorized payment for the purchase or construction of housing which has special adaptations to meet the needs of your disability.

How do I establish a Disabled Veterans’ Exemption?

You apply for this exemption through the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Once the exemption has been approved, the Township Assessor is notified automatically. Please note that this exemption must be renewed each year.

You may obtain the required forms from the:

Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center – North Chicago

Building 135 – Ground Floor

3001 Green Bay Road

North Chicago, Illinois 60064

847-689-4153

Senior Citizens’ Real Estate Tax Deferral Program

What is the Senior Citizens’ Tax Deferral Program and Who Qualifies?

This program is designed to allow senior citizens to defer payment of part or all of the property taxes on their homes. This program functions as a loan, with an annual interest rate of six percent. To qualify for this deferral, you must:

  • Own the property, which must be used exclusively as a residence. Please note that joint ownership under this program is limited to you and your spouse.
  • Have lived on this or another qualifying property for at least three years, except for periods in which you may have resided temporarily in a nursing or sheltered care home.
  • Be age 65 or older by June 1 of the tax year.
  • Have a maximum household income of $50,000.
  • Owe no delinquent taxes on the property.
  • Note: The filing deadline for the program is March 1 of the tax year.

How much may be deferred?

Eligible residents may defer part or all of their property taxes for each year in which they qualify. The maximum which may be deferred (including interest and fees) is 80 percent of the taxpayer’s equity in the property.

When must deferred taxes be paid?

Property taxes which are deferred under this program become due when the residence is sold or upon the death of the taxpayer. The deferral may be continued by a surviving spouse who is at least age 55 within six months of the taxpayer’s death.

How does one apply for this tax deferral program?

Application for the Senior Citizens’ Real Estate Tax Deferral

Program must be made each year, and involves completing two forms which are available at the Boone County Treasurer’s office. The applications include:

  • A request for information about the taxpayer, his or her income, and the property for which the deferral is being sought.
  • A request that any joint owners and mortgage lenders agree to the deferral.
  • Presentation of evidence of adequate insurance on the property.
  • Completion of an agreement which sets out the conditions of the tax deferral, including the maximum amount which can be deferred, the interest rate to be charged, and arrangements for repaying the “loan.”
  • Assistance with filling out the forms, and further processing of completed forms are available from:

Boone County Treasurer

1212 Logan Ave

Belvidere, Illinois 61008

Senior Citizens’ Circuit Breaker Grants

What is a Senior Citizens’ Circuit Breaker Grant and who qualifies?

This program provides low-income senior citizens with yearly grants to help pay property taxes. The amount of the grant is determined by a formula which takes into account your property taxes and your total household income. To qualify for a “circuit breaker” grant, you must:

  • Be age 65 or older before January 1 of the tax year. If you reach age 65 during the tax year, you may be eligible for a partial grant covering the months in which you qualify.
  • Have lived in an Illinois residence which was subject to property taxes during the tax year.
  • Live in Illinois at the time you file for a grant.
  • Have a maximum household income of $22,218 for a one-person household, $29,480 for a two-person household, and $36,740 for a household of three or more persons.
  • Obtain an application from the Township Assessor’s office, and complete and file it on or before December 31 of the tax year.

When are these grants paid?

If you file a qualifying claim early in the year, grants will be issued within three to four months. For claims filed after May 1, grants are generally issued within eight to 10 weeks.

If I die, will my spouse continue to receive the circuit breaker grant?

If your surviving spouse was age 63 or older before your death, he or she may continue to file for circuit breaker grants.

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