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Senior citizens applying for Cook County property tax exemption

Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times
by Lisa Donovan

Cook County homeowners 65 or older are trickling in to government offices in the city and suburbs to apply for the senior property tax exemption they must now apply for annually.

In September, roughly one in five seniors — 55,000 of the 300,000 eligible — hadn’t applied for the senior exemption, according to the assessor’s office.

As of Tuesday, 7,500 seniors had come to the assessor’s office in Chicago’s Cook County building, 118 N. Clark, as well as satellite offices in Rolling Meadows, Bridgeview, Skokie and Markham courthouses to re-apply, said Kelley Quinn, a spokesperson for the assessor.

All 7,500 received a certificate of error, and their bills were adjusted accordingly, she said. For a senior homeowner in Chicago, the exemption is worth a median savings of more than $200 year.

A new law kicked in this year, calling for seniors to apply for the exemptions annually. County Assessor Joe Berrios said he’s lobbying the Illinois Legislature to nix the law during the upcoming veto session.



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