Finding ways to reduce your property tax bill may be something you are scrambling to do this tax season.
Lucky for you, Cook County does offer some exemptions that let you reduce your tax bill by exempting a portion of your property value from the assessment. One option available to a large majority of people is the homeowner exemption.
According to the Cook County Assessor, the homeowner exemption allows you to reduce the value of your property, which will reduce the amount of taxes you must pay on the property. Once you secure the exemption, it will renew each year unless you move. You must reapply when you own a new property where you did not previously have the exemption. The exemption shows up on the second bill you receive each year.
If you do move or if you wish to secure the exemption for the first time, you will need to complete an application. The Assessor’s Office automatically sends applications to new homeowners at the start of each year, so you should receive one in the mail by the end of March. There is also an online application opening in February each year.
To qualify for the exemption, you must be the person responsible for paying the taxes and use the property as your residence. Someone must have lived on the property as of the first day of the year. For example, if it is a new build, but you did not move in until January 15 of the year, then you cannot apply for the exemption in the current year.